U.S. embassies that would normally be open this Sunday - including those in Abu Dhabi, Baghdad, Cairo - will be closed that day because of unspecified security concerns, the U.S. State Department said on Thursday.
"The Department of State has instructed certain U.S. embassies and consulates to remain closed or to suspend operations on Sunday, August 4th," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters at her daily briefing. "Security considerations have led us to take this precautionary step."
Harf declined to detail the "security considerations" or name the embassies and consulates that would be closed but a senior State Department official later told reporters they were those that would normally have been open on Sunday.
A quick search of the State Department website showed that these included several U.S. missions in the Muslim world, including the embassies in Abu Dhabi, Baghdad and Cairo.
"The department has been apprised of information that, out of an abundance of caution and care for our employees and others who may be visiting our installations, ... indicates we should institute these precautionary steps," Harf said. "The department, when conditions warrant, takes steps like this to balance our continued operations with security and safety."