Some of the U.S. diplomatic missions that were closed on Sunday due to security threat will reopen on Monday, the State Department said.
U.S. Embassies or Consulates in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Yemen suspended operations on Sunday fearing an al-Qaeda-inspired attack in the run-up to the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
In a statement on Sunday, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said diplomatic posts in Dhaka, Algiers, Nouakchott, Kabul, Herat, Mazar el-Sharif, Baghdad, Basrah, and Erbil were authorized to reopen for normal operations on August 5.
At the same time, Embassies and Consulates in Abu Dhabi, Amman, Cairo, Riyadh, Dhahran, Jeddah, Doha, Dubai, Kuwait, Manama, Muscat, Sanaa, Tripoli, Antanarivo, Bujumbura, Djibouti, Khartoum, Kigali, and Port Louis are instructed to extend their closures through August 10.
U.S. diplomatic missions that remain open on Sundays were the ones operating in Muslim countries, mostly in the Middle East, where it is not a holiday, unlike in other parts of the world. U.S. diplomatic offices in the region have a five-day week beginning Sunday.
The "Embassies and Consulates were going to be closed in accordance with local custom and practice for the bulk of the week for the Eid celebration at the end of Ramadan, and out of an abundance of caution," the State Department said.
Psaki made it clear that "this is not an indication of a new threat stream, merely an indication of our commitment to exercise caution and take appropriate steps to protect our employees including local employees and visitors to our facilities."
In a global travel alert on Friday, which is in force throughout the month, the State Department said potential for an al-Qaeda-inspired attack was particularly strong in the Middle East and North Africa. The latest threats made by al-Qaeda are said to be the most serious by the global terror network in recent years.
An attack on the U.S. Consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi in September last year killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
by RTT Staff Writer
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