Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point
On Air
Low Graphics

Saturday, August 22, 1998 Published at 06:54 GMT 07:54 UK


US on alert for reprisals

Trucks block an entrance to the State Department as security is stepped up

The US is on alert for possible reprisals following American missile attacks on Sudan and Afghanistan.

[ image: Security staff are on alert at the Pentagon]
Security staff are on alert at the Pentagon
Warnings have been issued to American citizens at home and abroad.

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has warned of a long-term battle against terrorism.

Security at public buildings and monuments in Washington has been increased as Americans prepare for what could be an extended and unpredictable confrontation.

Airport checks are being more rigorously enforced and American embassies around the world are on increased alert.

"The Department of State urges US citizens travelling or residing abroad to review their security practices, to remain alert to the changing situation, and to exercise much greater caution than usual," said a statement issued by the department on Thursday.

Richard Hoagland of the US embassy in Islamabad tells the BBC's John Humphrys: "Security is adequate"
"Large crowds and other situations in which anti-American sentiments may be expressed should be avoided. US diplomatic posts worldwide are taking appropriate security precautions."

But Richard Hoagland, of the US embassy in the Pakistani capital Islamabad, said security at the building was "adequate" following angry anti-American protests on Friday.

British nationals warned

The United Kingdom Foreign Office has advised the few remaining British nationals in Afghanistan to leave and is discouraging non-essential visits to Sudan and Pakistan.

All British citizens overseas, particularly those in Islamic countries, have been urged to exercise extra vigilance.

British Airways has rerouted flights scheduled to cross Sudanese or Afghan airspace, in view of the security situation, a BA spokesman said.

Other European airlines are reported to be taking similar measures and the US Federal Aviation Administration is urging US carriers to do the same.

Albright dismisses accusations

[ image: Madeleine Albright: Long battle ahead]
Madeleine Albright: Long battle ahead
At the same time, Mrs Albright dismissed accusations that the US strikes had been timed so as to divert public attention away from the sex scandal surrounding President Bill Clinton.

"I consider this line of attack basically silly ... our timing was based purely on what was necessary in responding to these horrible attacks on Americans and in having very good intelligence information," she said.

Meanwhile, President Clinton has resumed his holiday in Massachusetts, which was interrupted when the US launched its attacks on Sudan and Afghanistan.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia

Relevant Stories

21 Aug 98 | World
Islam and the West: an unholy war?

21 Aug 98 | World
Background on the cruise missile

21 Aug 98 | World
World reaction: from praise to condemnation

20 Aug 98 | South Asia
Who is Osama bin Laden?

21 Aug 98 | Monitoring
Taleban warn US of 'serious consequences'

21 Aug 98 | Monitoring
Clinton 'a liar' - Sudanese leader

20 Aug 98 | South Asia
Taleban vows to stand by bin Laden

20 Aug 98 | Americas
Strikes 'planned for a week'

Internet Links

US State Department

UK Foreign Office

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

From Business
Microsoft trial mediator appointed

Violence greets Clinton visit

From Entertainment
Taxman scoops a million

Safety chief deplores crash speculation

Bush calls for 'American internationalism'

Hurricane Lenny abates

EU fraud: a billion dollar bill

Russian forces pound Grozny

Senate passes US budget

Boy held after US school shooting

Cardinal may face loan-shark charges

Sudan power struggle denied

Sharif: I'm innocent

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

India's malnutrition 'crisis'

Next steps for peace

Homeless suffer as quake toll rises

Dam builders charged in bribery scandal

Burundi camps 'too dire' to help

DiCaprio film trial begins

Memorial for bonfire dead

Spy allegations bug South Africa

Senate leader's dismissal 'a good omen'

Tamil rebels consolidate gains

New constitution for Venezuela

Hurricane pounds Caribbean

Millennium sect heads for the hills

South African gays take centre stage

Lockerbie trial judges named