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US issues travel alert amid concerns over al-Qaeda threat

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US issues travel alert amid concerns over al-Qaeda threat

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The US has issued a worldwide travel alert, warning Americans that al-Qaeda could be planning attacks this month – particularly in the Middle East and North Africa.

The State Department move is apparently based on the same intelligence that is prompting the closure of 21 US embassies and consulates on Sunday, including one in Cairo.

Meanwhile, Britain has announced that it will close its embassy in Yemen on Sunday and Monday. The Foreign Office says it is concerned about security during the final days of Ramadan and into Eid.

An attack last year on the American consulate in Benghazi left the envoy to Libya and three other officials dead.

With the latest alert, US officials say there is no specific target – the threat applies more broadly to Western interests.