UK, Canada embassies close in Egypt over ‘security concerns’

The Cairo Post:

CAIRO: Approximately 24 hours after the British embassy in Cairo closed its headquarters Sunday over “security concerns,” the Canadian embassy in Cairo closed its office until further notice due to security fears while the Australian Foreign Ministry warned Monday its citizens of “possible terror attacks.”

“The ability to provide consular services may occasionally be limited for short periods due to unsettled security conditions,” the official website of the Canadian embassy says.

An Egyptian security source told Youm7 Monday that the security officials are in contact with the embassy staff over the closure.

The British embassy in Cairo closed Sunday over unspecified security fears; Ambassador John Casson said Monday “Public services at the British Embassy are currently suspended. We have taken this decision to ensure the security of the Embassy and our staff.”

“We are working to restore full services as quickly as possible and to keep British Nationals in Egypt and other customers informed,” he added in a statement on the embassy official website, noting that he is cooperating with the Egyptian government to restore the full services. The embassy office in Alexandria is operating normally, the website added.

On Dec. 6, the Australian Foreign Ministry updated the travel advice to its citizens to exercise extra caution against any possible attacks.

“Reports of early December 2014 indicate that terrorists may be planning attacks against tourist sites, government ministries and embassies in Cairo. We continue to advise against all travel to the Governorate of North Sinai. We continue to advise Australians to reconsider their need to travel elsewhere in Egypt due to ongoing political tension and the threat of terrorist attack,” said the Australian Foreign Ministry website.

Militants affiliated to al-Qaeda-inspired Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis have launched several attacks against the military and security forces in the Sinai, and the group has also claimed responsibility for a number of attacks in Cairo, including a bombing at Cairo University earlier this year.

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