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US to Reopen Most Missions After Threat

A general view shows the concrete barriers at the entrance to the U.S. embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, August 7, 2013.
The United States is reopening 18 of its embassies and consulates in the Middle East and Africa on Sunday, more than a week after they were closed due to a security threat.

The U.S. closed the facilities last week Sunday, following a worldwide alert that said al-Qaida could be planning attacks.

The alert was issued after U.S. intelligence intercepted electronic conversations in which the al-Qaida chief in Pakistan, Ayman al-Zawahri, ordered the head of its branch in Yemen to carry out an attack.

The two terrorists did not specify exactly where and when the attacks would take place.

The U.S. embassy in Yemen's capital, Sana'a, will remain closed. On Friday, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said there were ongoing concerns about potential attacks that could be launched by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemen branch of the terrorist group.

On Saturday, Yemen's defense minister, Nasser Ahmed, discussed security issues with the U.S. deputy ambassador to Yemen, Karen Hideko Sasahara.

Yemen's state-run SABA news agency says Sasahara stressed the need to support Yemen's defense efforts, particularly in the area of counterterrorism.

Meanwhile, the U.S. consulate in Lahore, Pakistan, which closed Thursday due to a separate threat, will also remain closed.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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