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Terror Alert Shuts U.S. Embassy in Kenya

The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi has temporarily closed because of “a very real, continuing threat of terrorist activity in Kenya and East Africa,” the embassy said in a statement. The Pentagon also issued a terrorism alert to all U.S. interests in Kenya and raised the threat level to “high,” officials said. That warning, issued Thursday by the Defense Intelligence Agency, is based on specific information about a threat against a specific target, a Pentagon official said on condition of anonymity. The embassy statement said the closure “is part of an effort to review and adjust internal security procedures and to vary embassy hours in view of the ongoing security threat in Kenya. The closing is due to what officials described as a very real, continuing threat of terrorist activity in Kenya and East Africa which has not changed.” Embassy spokesman Tom Hart said he could not comment further. Kenyan security officials were not immediately available to comment. The new embassy, located in a residential neighborhood on the outskirts of Nairobi, opened on March 3. The previous embassy was destroyed by an al-Qaida car bomb in August 1998. That blast killed 219 people, including 12 Americans, and injured another 5,000. Full Story

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