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Navy poised to rescue Britons from Yemen

By Kim Sengupta

A British naval contingent has been stationed off the coast of Yemen in readiness to extract UK nationals and citizens of allied nations amid fears that the country will descend further into chaos following the departure of its beleaguered president.

Around 80 Royal Marines aboard the Fort Victoria will help provide a bridgehead if an evacuation becomes necessary, with another ship, Cardigan Bay, currently on its way to provide further support to the mission.

The troops on board, from Alpha Company, 40 Commando, can be reinforced, if necessary by members of a Marine force currently taking part in an exercise in Albania. Defence officials in London stress there are no plans to do this at present.

The 31,000-tonne Fort Victoria and 17,000-tonne Cardigan Bay, both equipped with helicopters and landing craft, are from a UK fleet in the Mediterranean tasked with organising contingency plans for rescuing Britons from both Syria and Yemen as well as conducting military operations in Libya.

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