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Concrete security at UK parliament

The Houses of Parliament, now under tighter security
The Houses of Parliament, now under tighter security

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LONDON, England -- Concrete blocks have been placed around the British parliament buildings as London steps up anti-terrorism measures.

The barricades will be in place during a nine-day parliamentary recess, said the Press Association Friday. Police presence is also being increased around London.

"They (the blocks) form part of a more general strengthening of security being carried out in central London on a precautionary basis in the light of world events, and action being taken in other countries similarly under threat of terrorist attack," said a parliamentary official.

"These measures are being carried out on a precautionary basis. Security in the capital remains at a high level," said a statement from London police.

"There is no specific intelligence of places, events or people in the UK that would lead us at the moment to issue specific warnings to the public. We will continue to take whatever action we believe is necessary to protect and reassure the public."

The heightened security in London comes after the United States said it would maintain the country's threat level at "orange," or high.

A U.S. administration official said Thursday the level would remain for at least the Memorial Day weekend, or "until we are confident al Qaeda's planning activities have slowed down or been disrupted."

The official said intelligence "chatter" remained high, but not specific. He said there was no new intelligence he was aware of, and no reason to change the assessment that prompted the hike in the threat level Tuesday. (Full story)

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