US embassy in Cairo evacuates more staff amid 'terrorism' threats

Ahram Online, Friday 9 Aug 2013

The US embassy in Egypt evacuates 4 more staff and remains closed - as well those as in 19 other Muslim countries - until Saturday

Four more US embassy staff members left Cairo on Friday, reports the official state news agency, MENA.

Since the mass 30 June protests that culminated in the overthrow of the Islamist Morsi regime, the US has been evacuating nonessential staff and intermittently closing its Cairo embassy.

The US announced last week the closure of its embassies until Saturday 10 August in 19 Muslim countries, including Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, among others, amid reports of "terror threats," AP reports.

On Sunday, the US State Department announced it would also close embassies in Madagascar, Burundi, Rwanda and Mauritius.

Political and social turmoil in Egypt amid recurring street violence between rival factions has also raised concerns among Western and US citizens about their personal security.

On 28 June, a US citizen and college student, Andrew Pochter, was stabbed and killed in the Egyptian port city of Alexandria during clashes between supporters and opponents of toppled president Mohamed Morsi.

On 9 May, American academic, Chris Stone, was attacked with a knife outside the US embassy building in Cairo. He survived the attack.

Some 45 families of US diplomats were evacuated by the US embassy one day ahead of the 30 June protests.

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