DUBAI (Reuters) - Banks in the Yemeni city of Aden will close for three days from Monday and suspend clearing services in protest after a spate of armed robberies, the 12 lenders said in a letter to the central bank.
Robbers armed with assault rifles raided a branch of Al-Ahli bank in Aden on Thursday, wounding a banker and a security guard, local media reported, after similar assaults in the southern province.
“We hope there will be a serious response to the attack and the perpetrators will get arrested and tried,” the letter said, demanding more protection.
The city is under the control of the Security Belt, a southern force taking part in a civil war that has killed more than 10,000 people. Cholera and famine have also spread in the impoverished country.
Aden is nominally the seat of the internationally-recognized government although the president and other cabinet members live in Saudi Arabia for security concerns due to attacks by Islamist militants.
A coalition led by Saudi Arabia and backed by U.S. arms and intelligence, has waged a nearly two-year-old campaign on behalf of Yemen’s internationally recognized government, which the Houthi movement - allied with Saudi’s arch-foe Iran - is battling to dislodge.
The letter also said the banks would suspend clearing operations and threatened to take more measures if authorities did not respond by protecting local branches. A copy was also sent to Aden’s governor.
Writing By Aziz El Yaakoubi; editing by Susan Thomas