SANAA (AFP/Reuters) - Yemeni forces killed two Al-Qaeda militants on Monday, officials said, as security was boosted at foreign embassies and the airport amid fears of strikes linked to a botched attack on a US airliner. The defence ministry-linked sep26.net website quoted a security official as saying two bodyguards related to a wanted Al-Qaeda leader were killed. Yemeni forces said the dead were behind a threat which forced the US and European embassies to shut as concerns grew about the impoverished Arab countrys stability. The raid took place after the attempted bombing of a US-bound plane on Christmas Day thrust Yemen into the foreground of the US-led war against militants. Security authorities had been monitoring them for several days and struck today, a Yemeni security official told Reuters. These elements are believed to be behind the threats directed to the US Embassy. A counter-terrorism unit tracking down wanted Al-Qaeda leader, the terrorist Mohammed al-Hanq who is responsible for Al-Qaeda in the Arhab region, has clashed with the suspect and a number of his bodyguards, it said. The clashes led to the killing of two bodyguards who are relatives of his and are suspected Al-Qaeda members, while two others were wounded. The terrorist (Hanq) managed to flee. Earlier, a tribal source requesting anonymity said two suspected Al-Qaeda members were shot dead near Arhab, 40 kilometres north of Sanaa, by security forces hunting for Hanq. Two of Hanqs company, his son and his nephew, were killed and three others were wounded in the firefight, while he managed to escape, the source said. In Sanaa the security crackdown came as US authorities announced greater airport checks on passengers travelling from or via 14 terror linked countries, including Yemen. The American and British embassies had been shut since Sunday for what they said were security reasons, while France on Monday announced it too was limiting access to its mission. On January 3, our ambassador decided to no longer authorise public access to the premises of our diplomatic mission, foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero told reporters in Paris. The Japanese foreign ministry said consular services had been suspended at its embassy in Yemen but the mission was conducting other business as usual. The German foreign ministry confirmed security had been tightened at its mission but that the embassy remained open. In The Hague, a foreign ministry spokesman told AFP The Netherlands saw no reason for the moment to close its embassy, but advised against non-essential travel to Yemen. Yemeni officials, asking not to be named, told AFP on Monday that security had been tightened outside all embassies in the capital. A Yemeni security official told AFP that police measures were intensified on the road to the airport following the closure of the US embassy. Yemens Shia rebels said on Monday that Saudi Arabia had carried out a series of lethal air raids across the border with Yemen, killing 16 civilians and wounding 19 others. In one of 25 raids launched on Monday, six civilians were killed and six others were wounded, women and children among them, according to a statement issued by the rebels, who Riyadh has been battling since early November. Ten other civilians were killed in a market hit by one of the air raids carried out on Sunday, the rebels said in a separate statement posted on their website. Obamas counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan warned on Sunday of possible attacks by Al-Qaeda in Yemen. Brennan said Washington plans to take whatever steps necessary to protect US citizens in Yemen and described as a determined and concerted effort a plan by London and Washington to fund Yemens special Counter-Terrorism Unit. Yemen has been highlighted by Washingtons Transport Security Administration (TSA) as one of 14 terror linked countries to which enhanced airline passenger screening would be applied. The TSA said on Sunday that all passengers flying into the United States will be subject to random screening or so-called threat-based screens. It further mandated that every individual flying into the US from anywhere in the world traveling from or through nations that are state sponsors of terrorism or other countries of interest will be required to go through enhanced screening. Among the affected countries are Yemen, Cuba, Iran, Sudan, Syria Afghanistan, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan and Somalia.