British embassy in Kuwait closes amid threat

From the UK in Kuwait website</p>

From the UK in Kuwait website

In a statement on its website, the British embassy in the Gulf state of Kuwait said it has temporarily suspended its services because of an increased threat.

The statement read: "As of 19 October 2011, because of an increased threat toward the British embassy, we have temporarily suspended British embassy services."

A recorded phone message said the embassy was closed Thursday, a working day in Kuwait.

Al Jazeera reported that the embassy also advised British organizations and businesses to review their security measures, in an update to the "terrorism section" of its travel advice – saying it could not “rule out threats against other British interests in Kuwait”.

But it said the threat was targeted at the mission itself.

According to the BBC, the Foreign Office said services were suspended until after the weekend, and that all non-essential staff had been sent home.

It its statement, the embassy cited a “general threat from terrorism in Kuwait”, adding that terrorists continue to issue statements threatening to carry out attacks in the Gulf region.

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The statement said:

"These include references to attacks on Western including European interests ... residential compounds, military, oil, transport and aviation interests."

About 20,000 British nationals reportedly live and work in Kuwait, and the embassy has advised that they remain cautious before sailing in Kuwaiti waters.

This follows what it called "maritime restrictions" that were issued by Kuwait last month.