A plan by al-Qaida to attack ports and oil and gas facilities in Yemen was prevented by the Yemeni government, according to a Wednesday statement from a spokesman for the nation's prime minister, CNN reported.
"Large numbers of government forces are making sure the Yemeni coasts are safe from an al-Qaida attack," Rajeh Badi, who represents the Arabian Sea nation, told the television network. "Al-Qaida sought to attack the oil pipelines but failed and tried to attack through the coast of Mukalla but failed as well."
The United States on Tuesday removed all non-emergency personnel from the country and told citizens to vacate the country. CNN also reported that a U.S. drone strike the same day killed four fighters linked to al-Qaida.
Yemeni forces are on high alert in Sanaa, the capital, after a senior Yemeni Interior Ministry official revealed that "a few" al-Qaida operatives were in the city and mentioned that the group does "have a good history of operating in Sanaa," according to CNN. The same unidentified official told CNN that the government was "confident that government security forces will be able to stop any attack from taking place in Sanaa."
Many Yemeni citizens are afraid of the potential for greater U.S. involvement in the country, but the Yemeni Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the removal of embassy personnel "serves the interests of extremists," the network reported.