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For Embassy in Sudan, a Halt

November 11, 2003|From Bloomberg News

WASHINGTON — The U.S. is closing its embassy in Sudan for the rest of the week because of a security threat, the State Department said. It did not describe the nature of the threat.

The embassy, already due to close today for the Veterans Day holiday, will suspend operations beginning Wednesday and "hopes to resume normal operations next week," it said in a message to Americans living in Sudan.

The closure is part of a series of precautions taken recently in the region. The State Department last week issued an updated warning that noted threats there to commercial aircraft and maritime interests.

The U.S. considers Sudan a sponsor of terrorism. Osama bin Laden lived there before moving to Afghanistan in 1996, after the U.S. pressed for his expulsion. In retaliation for the 1998 bombings of two American embassies in East Africa, the U.S. bombed a Sudanese factory it believed was producing chemical weapons.

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