Security alert at US, UK embassies in Azerbaijan

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BAKU, Oct 29 (Reuters) Britain closed its embassy in Azerbaijan today because of security concerns and the United States moved its embassy to limited operations, also citing security, officials said.

Neither embassy would comment on the nature of the threat.

''The embassy is closed due to some local security concerns.

The situation will be kept under review,'' a spokeswoman for the British embassy said.

A spokesman for the US embassy said: ''The embassy has gone to limited operations in connection with a threat against the embassy.'' Azerbaijan is an oil-producing, mainly Muslim republic of 8 million people sandwiched between Iran, Turkey and Russia.

Authorities there have in the past years arrested dozens of people suspected of links to Islamist militants, but the country has no history of militant violence against Western targets.

Reuters SKB DS1620

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