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The US embassy in Sri Lanka was shut indefinitely Tuesday due to a “security threat” after a letter containing a suspect substance was received, diplomatic sources said. The US embassy in Sri Lanka was shut indefinitely Tuesday due to a “security threat” after a letter containing a suspect substance was received, diplomatic sources said. Staff were ordered to leave the embassy compound as well as a nearby building where the USAID and the US Information Service is located, the sources said.

An embassy spokesman declined to give details, but said the sudden closure was prompted by “security reasons”.

“The embassy is closed for an indefinite period due to security and administrative reasons and that is all we can say at the moment,” embassy spokesman Chris Long told AFP when contacted on a mobile phone.

He could not say what exactly the threat was or when the embassy planned to reopen for issuing visas and other consular services. “We are currently evaluating the situation, we can’t say when we will reopen,” Long said.

Asked if the embassy feared a terrorist strike, Long said: “We don’t want to speculate.”

Diplomatic sources said two upper flo