Several U.S. embassies remain closed in Asia

Friday, September 13, 2002

JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Several U.S. embassies in Southeast Asia remained closed Thursday because of terror threats linked to the Sept. 11 anniversary.

Meanwhile, U.S. officials were awaiting the results of tests to identify powder found in mail delivered Wednesday to the U.S. embassy in Italy. Powder sent to five U.S. consulates in Germany turned out to be sugar, tests found Thursday, and powder delivered to Copenhagen, Denmark, was also harmless.

After last year's Sept. 11 attacks, hundreds of suspicious packages with white power were reported worldwide and several people in the United States died after the delivery of anthrax-tainted letters. Most of the suspicious deliveries were hoaxes.

Troops with semiautomatic rifles were posted outside the U.S. Embassy Thursday in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation. The building remained closed, along with U.S. missions in Cambodia and Malaysia. Officials were unable to say when they would reopen.

In the Philippines, the British Embassy was evacuated after a staffer received a bomb threat. No explosives were found, but the building was closed until Friday.

Southeast Asia has been dubbed the second front in the U.S.-led campaign against terrorism.

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