Home | News    Monday 10 November 2003

U.S. Embassy in Sudan to shut down after receiving terrorist threat


KHARTOUM, Sudan, Nov 10, 2003 (AP) — The United States Embassy in Sudan announced Monday it will temporarily close after receiving terrorist threats targeting American interests.

"The United States Embassy in Khartoum will suspend normal operations as of Nov. 12," the embassy said in a statement issued to media outlets in Sudan.

"This action is a result of a credible and specific threat to U.S. interests in Khartoum."

The embassy will close a day earlier, on Tuesday, to mark the national holiday of Veteran’s Day.

"We urge all U.S. citizens in Sudan to exercise extra caution and to avoid gatherings of foreigners that may attract outside attention."

An embassy public affairs officer, Lynn Gurian, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that the embassy planned to resume normal operations Sunday.

The statement said the embassy had received "strong support ... (from) Sudanese authorities in confronting the present threat."

Gurian would not provide details on the nature of threat nor when it the embassy first received it. Sudanese officials were not immediately available for comment.

The U.S. Embassy in Khartoum reopened in April, 2002, after closing down in the mid-1990s.

Sudan hosted al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in the 1990s and the region has been cited as a possible haven for terrorists since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The country is Africa’s largest and is run by an Islamic-oriented government, whose forces have been fighting a civil war with southern rebels since 1983.

Sudan remains on the United States list of terror sponsoring states.

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