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Attacks on UK diplomatic posts
The explosions happened in the early morning hours Thursday in midtown Manhattan.
New York
Great Britain

LONDON, England -- Thursday's blasts outside the British Consulate in New York are the latest in a long line of attempted strikes at Britain's diplomatic posts abroad.

The most high-profile, and the most devastating, happened on November 20, 2003, when a suicide truck bombing decimated the British Consulate General in Istanbul.

Consul General Roger Short, the UK's top envoy in the Turkish city, was one of 10 staff who died in the blast at Pera House.

Two other Britons -- Short's personal assistant Lisa Hallworth, originally from Denton, Greater Manchester, and former airline worker Nanette Elizabeth Kurma, from Drongan, Ayrshire -- were also killed at the consulate.

When the bomber struck, the consulate was just nine weeks away from being fully refurbished following a fire in 2000. It only reopened last year in a ceremony attended by Prince Charles.

The bombing was part of a week-long spate of terror attacks in Turkey, which included attacks on two synagogues and on the headquarters of London-based bank HSBC.

The attacks killed more than 50 people and injured hundreds more.

Sixty-nine suspected members of a Turkish al Qaeda cell were charged in connection with the crimes.

Several other British diplomatic posts around the world have been threatened or attacked in recent times, the UK Press Association reported.

In January this year, anti-terror police squads surrounded the British and Thai embassies in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, after specific bomb threats were made in phone calls to both embassies.

Last July, the British High Commission in the Pakistani capital Islamabad was shut down for several days after receiving threatening telephone calls.

And in March last year, the UK Foreign Office announced that the British Embassy in Algeria had been moved to a hotel because of security fears.

The embassy was moved from its original location in the north African country's capital Algiers to the city's Hilton Hotel.

That came after the British Embassy in the Syrian capital Damascus was closed to the public in February last year for security reasons.

In December 2003, the British Embassy in Peru remained shut for several days following security fears.

Earlier that same month, it emerged that an al Qaeda plot to blow up the British Embassy in Yemen was foiled just weeks before the bombings in Istanbul.

Twenty militants reportedly confessed to planning to crash a truck containing explosives through the embassy gates in Sanaa. The would-be bombers were receiving instructions from al Qaeda operatives in Iran, according to security officials.

The planned attack on the embassy, which is on a busy street, would have been devastating if the plotters had not been captured, PA said.

In September 2003, non-essential members of staff and dependents were advised to leave the British Embassy in the Iranian capital, Tehran, due to an "increased threat" following a gun attack on the building.

Two gunmen on a motorcycle fired six shots at the embassy's first and second floor offices. No one was injured.

In October 2000, a terrorist bomb was thrown over the wall of the British Embassy in Yemen, causing an explosion which was heard more than a mile and a half away.

The device landed near a generator, leading to a blast which caused considerable damage to a building inside the embassy compound.

No one was hurt in the explosion, which shattered windows at the embassy and an adjoining school in the capital Sanaa.

Embassies are seen as prime targets for terror attacks by Islamic extremists.

The first acknowledged mass-casualty al Qaeda attack was on the U.S. Embassy in Kenya in August 1998 in which 219 people were killed.

A pickup truck packed with explosives blew up outside the four-story building in the heart of the capital, Nairobi.

Minutes later, 12 people were killed when another bomb shattered the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam in neighboring Tanzania. About 5,000 people were injured in the two blasts.

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