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Bosnia Embassies of U.K., U.S. Open

October 22, 2001

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SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) _ The U.S. and British embassies in Bosnia reopened Monday amid an announcement that five suspects have been detained in connection with security threats.

Bosnian Prime Minister Zlatko Lagumdzija said police were investigating possible links between the suspects and Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network.

The U.S. Embassy issued a brief statement Monday saying that after a review, the security situation had improved enough to justify reopening the embassy, which shut down last Wednesday following a ``credible″ security threat.

Police said last week they had arrested two Algerians for allegedly making threatening phone calls to embassy staff.

Prime Minister Zlatko Lagumdzija said a total of five people were detained in the last few days in connection with the embassy threats and that police were investigating possible ties to al-Qaida. A total of 20 people have been placed under police scrutiny over the past month and 10 have been deported to their countries of origin, the premier said.

The British embassy, meanwhile, issued a statement Monday expressing gratitude to the Bosnian government for addressing security issues.

``We welcome the effective steps taken by Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities in overall efforts against terrorism,″ the statement said.

The overwhelming majority of Bosnia’s more than 1 million Muslims are secular or religious moderates. Bosnia also is home to some 200 Islamic fighters who came to the country mostly from the Middle East to fight on the Muslim side of the Bosnian war against Serbs and Croats.

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