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U.S. missions reopen in Saudi following threat

Rueters | August 10, 2005

RIYADH (Reuters) - U.S. diplomatic missions in Saudi Arabia reopened on Wednesday after closing for two days because of a threat of militant attacks, the U.S. embassy said on Wednesday.

An embassy spokesman said the embassy in Riyadh and the consulates in the Red Sea city of Jeddah and the eastern city of Dhahran would resume operations on Wednesday based on "further assessment of available threat information."

The missions were closed on Monday and Tuesday because of a threat against U.S. government buildings in the kingdom. But Saudi Arabia, battling a two-year campaign of al Qaeda violence, said it had no solid information about any imminent attacks.

Britain also warned this week that militants were in the final stages of planning attacks in the kingdom, and Australia said it had received "credible reports" that Islamic extremists were planning strikes in the near future.

Suicide bombers have hit several residential compounds housing foreigners, and militants also staged a daylight raid on the U.S. consulate in Jeddah. At least 91 foreign nationals and Saudi civilians have been killed in the violence.

Oil hit a record high just above $64 a barrel on Tuesday, partly on fears of a militant attack in the kingdom, the world's largest oil exporter.

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