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Security closes UK Algiers embassy


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An attack on the British consulate in Istanbul in November killed 27.

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(CNN) -- Britain has closed its embassy in Algiers and moved its operations into the Hilton Hotel this weekend, in response to an ongoing security assessment following last November's bombings in Istanbul which ripped through the British Consulate, a British Foreign Office spokeswoman said Sunday.

A spokesman at the Hilton said the staff moved in Saturday. There was no indication of how long the staff may be there.

The November 20 bombings in Istanbul, which killed 31 people, also targeted the British-based HSBC bank.

In December, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw ordered a review of the security strategy of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for its posts abroad, citing concerns of possible terrorist attacks.

"We keep the security of all our posts under constant review and frequently re-assess the risks and the measures needed to manage them in the light of changing threat levels," Straw said at the time.

The British Foreign Office spokeswoman in London said Sunday that the staff move in Algiers was not linked to the March 11 commuter-train bombings in Madrid that killed 202 people.

The British Embassy in Algiers coordinates with other nations in fighting terrorism, promotes economic development, and issues visas and passports.

According to the Embassy's Web site, "Algeria has passed through a period of considerable difficulty because of the threat from terrorism in recent years; but while problems remain, a lot of progress has been made."


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