Canadian Embassy in Cairo closed for the day over security worries - InfoNews

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Canadian Embassy in Cairo closed for the day over security worries

A K-9 security officer and his partner are deployed in front of the Canada embassy in Cairo, Egypt, which closed to the public on Monday, Dec. 8, 2014 over security concerns. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Ahmed Abdel Fattah
December 08, 2014 - 1:19 PM

CAIRO - The Canadian Embassy in Cairo has been closed amid security concerns, one day after the British Embassy suspended its services because of safety worries.

"As a security precaution and to ensure the protection of Canadian staff, we have closed our embassy in Cairo for the day," Adam Hodge, press secretary to Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, wrote in an email.

The two western embassies, located next door to one another in the central Cairo district of Garden City, gave no further details on their closures. The nearby U.S. Embassy remained open.

However, three senior Egyptian security officials told The Associated Press that recent arrests of suspected militants revealed plans to target the embassies, abduct foreign nationals and assassinate public figures. They did not elaborate.

The embassy announced its closure locally through a message on its main telephone number on Monday. An Egyptian security official told The Associated Press that Canadians asked for all roads around the embassy to be shut down and sought more security.

The official, who wasn't authorized to speak to journalists and as a result would only speak on condition of anonymity, said security would be tightened, but that the roads would not be closed.

The safety of embassy personnel is a top priority, said Hodge.

"We are monitoring events closely and taking appropriate security measures."

Hodge would not discuss what exactly prompted the closure. "We don't comment publicly on security precaution specifics at our missions."

The British Embassy closed its offices to the public Sunday and Monday. Both embassies are in Cairo's Garden City neighbourhood. The nearby U.S. Embassy remained open.

Egypt has been hit by series of militant attacks since last year's military ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

— With files from The Associated Press

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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