Philippines bans worker deployment to Yemen

MANILA - The Philippines Monday banned its citizens from taking up new jobs in Yemen, following a militant attack which killed dozens including seven Filipino medical workers.

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said in a statement the government was also offering to repatriate an estimated 1,000 other citizens already employed there as medical workers or construction labourers.

He said the labour department would "impose a total deployment ban", while Filipinos wishing to travel to Yemen for other purposes are advised to postpone their trips.

Saturday's attack, mostly by Saudi militants, on Yemen's defence ministry killed 56 people including the seven Filipinos.

Twenty-nine Filipinos were wounded.

The Philippines has condemned the violence as a "senseless and barbaric act" and called on the Yemeni government to hold the masterminds accountable.

About one-tenth of the Philippines' 100 million people work abroad, mainly as domestic helpers, labourers and seamen.

Their remittances fuel the economy but many of them find their way into hostile environments.