September 8, 2015 / 2:27 PM / in 2 years

U.S. warns of possible attack in South Africa targeting Americans

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - The United States warned its citizens on Tuesday of a possible attack by “extremists” against U.S. facilities or interests in South Africa, a rare security alert in a stable democracy seldom associated with Islamist militancy.

In a statement on its website, the U.S. Embassy said it had no information about a specific target or timing, but advised Americans to review their personal security plans and maintain their vigilance.

In Washington, State Department spokesman John Kirby said he could not elaborate on what prompted the move. “The embassy had information indicating a potential terrorist threat and they acted on that,” he said.

A spokeswoman for the police in Gauteng, the province that is home to both the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria and its consulate in Johannesburg, said she was unaware of the U.S. warning.

The embassy and consulates in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town closed for several days in 2009 after what U.S. officials described as a “specific” threat to diplomatic missions in South Africa.

Reporting by Ed Cropley; Editing by James Macharia

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