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US to Close Embassies August 4

The United States will close a number of its embassies and consulates around the world on Sunday for security reasons.

The chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, Ed Royce, told CNN Friday an al-Qaida-linked terror threat prompted the State Department to close embassies in Middle East and Central Asian nations, including Egypt and Israel.

The State Department has not specified the type of threat the missions face but said the embassies and consulates instructed to close are ones normally open on Sundays. That would include embassies in the Muslim world, where the work week generally is from Sunday to Thursday.



Spokeswoman Marie Harf called the move a precautionary measure.



"The Department has been apprised of information that out of an abundance of caution and care for our employees and others who may be visiting our installations that indicates we should institute these precautionary steps. The department, when conditions warrant, takes steps like this to balance our continued operations with security and safety."



Officials said the closures could be extended after an evaluation.

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