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Christmas security warning cautions Westerners in Beijing

Western governments have issued unspecific security warnings for their citizens in a Beijing district. The warnings speak of a possible threat on Christmas.

Statements issued by government officials from France, the United Kingdom and the United States have warned of a potential security threat for Westerners in the Sanlitun area of Beijing "on or around Christmas."

A statement on website of the US embassy in Beijing read "US citizens are urged to exercise heightened vigilance."

The French embassy in Beijing said it had received information from its American counterparts and urged "utmost vigilance" to its citizens.

No further details were given about the nature of the threat or where the information came from.

News agency reports indicate an increased police presence in Sanlitun, a popular shopping area that is also home to some embassies. Police have issued a yellow security alert during the Christmas period, but this is a relatively normal procedure around holidays and does not represent a particularly high threat level. Christmas is not an official holiday in China.

mz/jil (AFP, Reuters)

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