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World Politics

US embassies to reopen after terror alert

Consulates in Yemen and Pakistan to remain closed, officials say

American authorities have announced that 18 of the 19 embassies and consulates in the Middle East and North Africa that have been closed due to a terrorist threat will reopen from tomorrow.

But officials from the US State Department have said that country's Embassy in the Yemeni capital of Sana'a will remain shut due to “ongoing concerns”.

No reason has been given for resuming operations at the 18 diplomatic missions.

The missions had been closed since last Sunday, with most employees from the US diplomatic corps in Yemen ordered to leave the country on Tuesday due to intelligence of a specific threat.

The closures were ordered after security services intercepted a message between al-Qa'ida operatives regarding plans for a major attack on US outposts.

Yemeni officials have confirmed that at least 14 suspected al-Qa'ida militants, seven of whom are reported to have come from Saudi Arabia, were killed in three drone strikes in the country.

Separately, the US consulate in the Pakistani city of Lahore was closed on Thursday due to another threat. It remains closed.

“We will continue to evaluate the threats to Sana'a and Lahore and make subsequent decisions about the reopening of those facilities based on that information,” said US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

“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 travelling overseas, and visitors to our facilities.”