The U.S. Embassy in Khartoum is
closing down for the rest of the week because of what State Department officials
say is a "credible and specific" threat to U.S. interests in the Sudanese capital.
The move follows a similar closure of U.S. diplomatic posts in Saudi Arabia last
Officials here are not providing any details on the nature of the threat
in Sudan. But they say the information was serious enough, apparently, to merit
an unusual week-long closure of the U.S. facility in Khartoum.
The embassy put out a message to U.S. citizens in Khartoum urging them to
keep a low profile, and to avoid large gatherings of foreigners that might
attract attention. It said the embassy hoped to resume normal operations next
Troubled for a decade, U.S.-Sudanese relations have improved lately amid
what the Bush administration says has been growing cooperation with Sudan on
counter-terrorism. But the American embassy in Khartoum remains a small post,
run by a charge-d'affaires rather than a full ambassador.
Last Friday, the State Department also cited credible and specific threat
information in ordering the closure of the U.S. embassy and two consulates
in Saudi Arabia. The next day, a suicide car bomb attack on a housing complex
in Riyadh for foreign residents killed at least 17 people.