UK journalists face deportation from Yemen

Anti-government protesters chant slogans in Sanaa
Image caption Anti-government protests have been going on for weeks in the capital, Sanaa

Two British journalists are to be deported later from Yemen, after being accused of illegally entering the unstable country.

The pair, detained by the authorities alongside two Americans, are understood to have entered the Middle Eastern country on student visas.

The Foreign Office said the British embassy has offered assistance.

Weeks of protest against President Ali Abdullah Saleh's 32-year rule have left about 30 people dead in the country.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "The British embassy can confirm that two British nationals will be deported from Yemen this evening.

"The British embassy has offered consular assistance in this matter."

The Britons have not been named but are said to have been reporting for various publications since arriving in Yemen.

The Associated Press news agency reported officials saying the four were taken into custody on Sunday, but they would not identify the organisations they worked for or explain the circumstances of their arrest.

Yemen is one of a number of countries in the North African and Middle East region that have seen increasing unrest since the presidents of Egypt and Tunisia were ousted in popular revolts earlier this year.

Over the weekend, six people were killed in clashes with riot police in the capital city, Sanaa.

Reports said hundreds of police moved in, using tear gas, water cannons and live bullets in Tahrir Square, where protesters have been camping out for weeks.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites