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US Shuts Embassy In S.Africa   
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South African police are deployed outside the US consulate in Cape Town on September 11. The US has closed all its government facilities in S Africa at least for one day, due to security concerns.
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The United States on Tuesday closed all its government facilities in South Africa at least for one day, due to concerns raised by the regional US security office, the embassy's spokeswoman said.

"We received information from the regional security office which I cannot discuss," spokeswoman Sharon Hudson-Dean told AFP.

"Our current assumption is that all US government facilities will be open on Wednesday," she added.

In addition to the main embassy complex in Pretoria, the United States maintains consulates in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. Offices of the US Agency for International Development have also been closed.

On August 7, 1998, suicide bombers targeted the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, in one of the most devastating attacks carried out by Al-Qaeda prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks.

A total of 213 people, including 12 Americans and 34 local embassy staff, died in the Nairobi bombing.

The blasts sparked an enormous effort to bolster security at US embassies around the world, and particularly across Africa.

In a related development, South Africa's National Police Commissioner, Bheki Cele, says the security situation was "under control".

“Our intelligence world is dealing with it. It is under control,” National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele told reporters.

He, however, declined to say what the exact nature of the threat was.
Source: AFP

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