US embassy in Colombo closed on finding suspicious powder

June 25th, 2008 - 9:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, June 25 (IANS) The US embassy in Colombo was Thursday closed temporarily for public after a suspicious-looking powder was discovered at the mission. “At approximately 11.00 a.m. on June 25, a suspicious powder was discovered at the US Embassy in Colombo. The suspicious substance will be sent to a laboratory for analysis,” the US embassy said in a statement.

“Until the results are received and a determination is made that the substance does not pose health or safety risks, the embassy will be closed to the public,” it said, adding that all visa appointments and routine American citizen services would be postponed until the matter was resolved.

It, however, said the consular section of the embassy would continue to remain available to provide emergency services to American citizens during the closure.

“If you are an American citizen and need emergency assistance please call +94-11-249-8686 during regular business hours, or +94-11-249-8500 after hours and ask for the duty officer,” the statement said.

The American Center, located a few hundred metres away from the embassy, has not been affected by this incident and will remain open for business.

The US mission here has faced similar closures at least three times since 2003 due to an anthrax scare which were later proved hoax.

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