US Embassy Stays Alert for Possible Attacks Lebanon

Three days after Muslim militants, reportedly angry at Russia’s offensive in Chechnya, attacked the Russian Embassy in Leba­non, US Embassy officials here said they are not taking any further security precautions.

But said US ambassador Kent Wiedemann on Wednesday: “The attack on the Russian Embassy in Beirut serves as a reminder that international threats exist.”

A Russian Embassy official declined to comment on the Beirut incident, security measures, or possible terrorist threats to the Phnom Penh embassy.

A police officer died during the grenade attack in Lebanon on Monday and several passersby were injured, but no Russian casualties were reported.

The US Embassy first an­nounced it had credible evidence for terrorist threats against its compound in Phnom Penh three weeks ago and closed down some of its services as a security measure.

Wiedemann said that the embassy remains on the alert for terrorist activity and is still running on reduced staff levels.

“There is still a general concern for terrorist threats and for maintaining vigilance at slightly higher levels. We have not changed our security posture,” said Wiedemann.

The move by the US embassy initially was in response to reports that international terrorist, Osama bin Laden—who is alleged to have masterminded the bombings of two US embassies in East Africa in 1998—was assembling Muslim separatists along some Southeast Asian borders. Wiedemann said later that the US had gathered its own intelligence supporting security precautions.


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