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News

US reopens several but not all closed diplomatic missions

The United States has reopened a number of the embassies it closed a week ago due to fears of a terrorist attack. However, several remain shut because of a Muslim holiday.

The diplomatic missions to be reopened on Sunday did not include the one in Yemen's capital, Sanaa, which US officials said would remain closed because of ongoing security concerns.

Germany's embassy in Sanaa also remained closed on Sunday, and it wasn't clear when it might reopen.

"There is still no final decision on how to proceed," a spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin told the AFP news agency. He said the ministry would continue to assess the situation in cooperation with Germany's allies.

Great Britain and France had also followed the US lead in shutting its embassy in Yemen's capital as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan drew to a close.

Among the US diplomatic missions to reopen on Sunday were the embassies in the capitals of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, as well as the consulate in Dubai.

The US embassy in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, as well as the consulates in Jeddah and Dhahran remained closed. They are expected to reopen on Wednesday.

It is not clear, however, when the US consulate in Lahore, Pakistan, (pictured above) will reopen.

The US closed a total of 19 embassies and consulates in the Middle East and Africa last week because of fears of an attack timed to coincide with the end of Ramadan.

Officials said communications intercepted by intelligence agencies included an order to attack delivered by the head of the al Qaeda terror network, Ayman al-Zawahiri, to Yemen-based militants.

pfd/mkg (dpa, AFP)