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Two U.S. Embassies in Asia Reopen

September 16, 2002

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JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) _ U.S. embassies in Malaysia and Indonesia reopened Monday after closing because of terror warnings ahead of the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, officials said.

But the missions in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh and the Vietnamese capital Hanoi remained closed until further notice, embassy officials said. The U.S. consulate in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City has reopened.

After briefly reopening last week, the embassy in Vietnam was shut again Friday while its ``security posture″ was further evaluated, the embassy said in a statement released Monday.

``In light of the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, we cannot rule out the possibility that attacks may occur against U.S. embassies or consulates,″ the statement said.

In Indonesia, the U.S. consulate in Surabaya also reopened. But embassy officials on warned U.S. citizens to avoid embassy facilities as information about a security threat ``remains serious and compelling.″

The embassy in Jakarta was closed last Tuesday due to what U.S. ambassador Ralph Boyce called a ``credible and specific threat″ to security that he suggested was linked to the al-Qaida terrorist network.

It was the second time since the Sept. 11 attacks that the embassy was closed because of security fears. In October, the public section of the building was shut down for two weeks due to fears of a terrorist attack.

Diplomats in Malaysia also announced last Tuesday that they had received threats and would close down the mission until further notice.

On Monday, embassy officials said that normal operations had resumed.

``We are extremely grateful to the government of Malaysia and in particular, the Royal Malaysia Police, for the support and protection they have provided to the U.S. Embassy,″ an embassy statement said.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, dozens of Islamic militants allegedly linked to al-Qaida have been arrested in Singapore and Malaysia. Last week, the U.S. State Department issued a worldwide caution urging Americans to remain especially vigilant, saying there was a ``continuing threat of terrorist actions.″

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