US to reopen 18 closed diplomatic missions

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Washington, Aug 10: The US will reopen Sunday its 18 of the 19 embassies and consulates shut in anticipation of terror attacks, the State Department said Friday.

The US embassy in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa will remain closed "because of ongoing concerns about a threat stream indicating the potential for terrorist attacks emanating from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula," reported Xinhua citing spokeswoman Jen Psaki in a statement.

The State Department ordered closure of the 22 diplomatic missions Aug 4, a workday in the Arab world, to cope with potential terrorist threat based on intercepted communications purported to be between al Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahri and Nasser Wuhayshi, head of the Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

It extended the closure of 19 diplomatic missions in the Middle East and Africa until this Saturday.

In addition, Washington evacuated non-emergency staff from its Sann'a embassy and consulate general in Pakistan's Lahore city respectively Tuesday and Thursday.

Psaki said the consulate in Lahore would remain closed as well following its closure Thursday.

"We will continue to evaluate the threats to Sanaa and Lahore and make subsequent decisions about the re-opening of those facilities based on that information," she said.

IANS

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