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U.S. Keeping 19 Diplomatic Posts Closed Until August 10

A section of the British Embassy compound Yemen, which remains closed on August 5
The United States says 19 of its embassies and consulates in the Middle East and Africa will remain closed through August 10 due to concerns about possible terrorist attacks.

The list includes 15 diplomatic posts that were closed on August 4, as well as four additional posts.

Some U.S. missions closed on August 4 were to reopen on August 5 -- including posts in Baghdad, Kabul, and Algiers.

Germany, France, and Britain have also closed their diplomatic missions in Yemen.

Washington said the closures were caused by an "abundance of caution," and were not a reaction to new threats.

However, U.S. lawmakers briefed about the threat of Al-Qaeda terrorist attacks during August said the intelligence reporting was among the most serious they’d seen since the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Britain and France said their embassies in Yemen would stay closed until the Muslim festival of Eid on August 8.

The United States and Interpol have also issued global security alerts for travelers.

The precautions come after hundreds of Al-Qaeda militants escaped from prisons in nine countries during the past month -- including Iraq, Libya, and Pakistan.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP.