US to reopen most embassies, consulates closed due to terror threat

Yemeni protesters try to break through the gate of the US embassy in Sanaa during a protest over a film mocking Islam on September 13, 2012. Yemeni forces managed to drive out angry protesters who stormed the embassy in the Yemeni capital with police firing warning shots to disperse thousands of people as they approached the main gate of the mission.
Mohammed Huwais

The United States will reopen most of its diplomatic posts on Sunday that were closed this past week due to fears of a possible Al Qaeda attack, according to the State Department.

Nearly two dozen embassies and consulates in 19 countries in the Middle East and North Africa were shut down after conversations involving Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri were reportedly intercepted.

The State Department said its embassy in Yemen will stay closed "because of ongoing concerns" as will the consulate in the Lahore, Pakistan.

The US withdrew most of its personnel from that consulate on Thursday citing "specific threats" and warned Americans not to travel to Pakistan.

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"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," the State Department said in a statement released to the BBC.

"We will also continue to evaluate information about these and all of our posts and to take appropriate steps to best protect the safety of our personnel, American citizens traveling overseas, and visitors to our facilities."

Diplomatic personnel in Lahore were told it was no longer safe for them to remain in their homes and were moved to the capital, Islamabad.

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