U.S. Extends Closure of Many Mid-East & African Embassies

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
The U.S. State Department says 19 embassies and consulates around the Middle East and parts of Africa will remain closed for the rest of the week, due to the threat of terrorism.

A Yemeni soldier inspects a car at a checkpoint on a street leading to the U.S. embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2013. Security forces close access roads, put up extra blast walls and beef up patrols near some of the 21 U.S. diplomatic missions in the Muslim world that Washington ordered closed for the weekend over a ``significant threat'' of an al-Qaida attack. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

Amid online "chatter" about terror threats, U.S. diplomatic posts in 19 cities in the Muslim world will be closed at least through the end of this coming week.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says the decision to keep the embassies and consulates shuttered is a sign of an "abundance of caution" and is --quote -- "not an indication of a new threat."
Diplomatic facilities will remain closed in Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, among other countries, through Saturday, Aug. 10. The State Department announcement Sunday added closures of four African sites, in Madagascar, Burundi, Rwanda and Mauritius to a list of almost two dozen closures announced Friday.
The U.S. has also decided to reopen some posts on Monday, including those in Kabul, Afghanistan, and Baghdad.
Norway's Foreign Ministry says it has restricted public access to 15 of its embassies in the Middle East and Africa, including its post in Saudi Arabia.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Frode Andersen said Monday that Norway's embassies are still accepting phone calls and emails but that public access to the premises has been restricted.
Andersen says the measures are based on an assessment of the "general threat level."
He says officials will monitor the security situation to decide how long access will be restricted, but declined to give further information.

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