Move comes 'out of an abundance of caution,' officials say.
The State Department will keep 19 U.S. embassies closed for the next week "out of an abundance of caution", officials announced on Sunday. The department, in a statement, said that the extension wasn't "an indication of a new threat stream," indicating that it's a continuation of the U.S. response to an al-Qaeda-linked threat that led to the closure of 22 embassies on Sunday.
Here's State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki's statement:
Given that a number of our embassies and consulates were going to be closed in accordance with local custom and practice for the bulk of the week for the Eid celebration at the end of Ramadan, and out of an abundance of caution, we've decided to extend the closure of several embassies and consulates including a small number of additional posts.
This is not an indication of a new threat stream, merely an indication of our commitment to exercise caution and take appropriate steps to protect our employees including local employees and visitors to our facilities.
The closures include four new diplomatic posts, along with 15 that were already closed on Sunday. A handful of embassies closed on Sunday will be allowed to reopen for business this week.
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