UK temporarily shuts Peru embassy

Britain has announced the temporary closure of its embassy in the Peruvian capital Lima for security reasons.

    British Foreign Office says most visits to Peru are trouble-free

    "Due to a reported threat against the British embassy in Lima, the embassy will be closed on 30 and 31 December," the Foreign Office said on its website. 

    A Foreign Office spokesman added: "For security reasons and as a temporary measure we have closed the British embassy in Lima." 

    Asked if the closure was because of a terror threat, he said the Foreign Office did not comment on the nature of its information.

    "Most visits to the country are trouble-free. The embassy was
    due to be closed on January 1 anyway and the situation will be reviewed after that," he said, adding that there was no "substantive change" to the Foreign Office's travel advice on Peru. 

    "That states essentially that people should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate attacks from global terrorism and reminds people too that domestic terrorism in Peru has not been wholly eliminated," the spokesman said.

    "Remnants of the Shining Path terrorist movement are still active in the Apurimac, Ene and Lower Huallaga Valleys"

    British Foreign Office website

    "The new security concerns that have led to the temporary closure relate specifically to the embassy and not to the general situation in Peru," he added.

    An embassy spokeswoman in Lima said the embassy had received a "potential end of year terrorism threat." She said about 50 people work in the embassy which did not usually receive threats. 

    Lima police said they were aware of the alert, but had no details. 

    The British Foreign Office website states that although a wave of internal terrorism in Peru in the 1980s and 1990s has largely ended, it has not completely disappeared.

    It states: "Remnants of the Shining Path terrorist movement are still active in the Apurimac, Ene and Lower Huallaga Valleys. 

    "Shining Path is believed to have been responsible for a car
    bomb close to the US embassy in Lima in March 2002 which killed ten Peruvians, and terrorists also briefly abducted gas pipeline workers near Toccate in the Ayacucho Department in June 2003. The perpetrators are still at large."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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