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Thursday, 5 December, 2002, 10:43 GMT
UK shuts Kenya mission after threat
Destroyed car near site of Paradise Hotel bombing
The closure follows the recent bomb attack
The British High Commission in Kenya has closed until further notice after receiving a "specific threat".

There has been increased concern for the safety of Britons in the east African Commonwealth country in the wake of the Mombasa hotel bombing.

High commission spokesman Mark Norton said: "We received a specific threat against the High Commission and have closed the High Commission until further notice while we conduct investigations."

Al-Qaeda militants pose with anti-aircraft missile in archive footage
A plane narrowly escaped being shot down
Mr Norton could not reveal the nature of the threat, or comment on any possible link with the recent attacks.

Foreign Office staff are not being withdrawn from Kenya at present.

It is thought that the threat is quite specific to the commission and that there is no increased level of threat to British nationals in Kenya.

The Foreign Office's advice is still for Britons to be vigilant in Kenya, while not advising against travel to the area.

BBC diplomatic correspondent James Robbins said the commission would be closed on Thursday and perhaps for a number of days while the threat was investigated.

He said that while the commission had received a number of threats, this one had been analysed extensively and was perceived to be of a much more serious nature.

The recent suicide attack at the Paradise Hotel in Mombasa claimed the lives of three Israelis, nine Kenyans, three suicide bombers and an unidentified person.

At about the same time an attempt was made to shoot down an Israeli airliner taking off nearby.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Bridget Kendall
"Officials at the Foreign Office are considering it pretty serious"
Jonathan Clayton, The Times' Nairobi Correspondent:
"The British High Commission is being extremely tight-lipped about the nature of the threat"

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29 Nov 02 | Politics
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