Yemeni soldiers search a car Sunday at a checkpoint on a street leading to the U.S. Embassy. (Mohammed Huwais/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. diplomatic posts in 19 cities in the Muslim world will be closed at least through the end of the week, the State Department said Sunday, citing "an abundance of caution," the Associated Press reports.

On Friday, the Obama administration announced the closings over the weekend, and officials issued a global travel alert, warning that al-Qaida or its allies might target either U.S. government or private American interests, the AP said. It was the most severe threat in years, officials said.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the decision to keep the embassies and consulates closed is "not an indication of a new threat."

She said the continued closures are "merely an indication of our commitment to exercise caution and take appropriate steps to protect our employees, including local employees, and visitors to our facilities."

Diplomatic facilities will remain closed in Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, among other countries, through Saturday, Aug. 10. The State Department announcement Sunday added closures of four African sites, in Madagascar, Burundi, Rwanda and Mauritius.

The U.S. has also decided to reopen some posts on Monday, including those in Kabul, Afghanistan, and Baghdad.


Read more at the Washington Post.

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