After announcing that the US government facilities are on a heightened state of alert, the US embassy Jakarta Friday closed visa services and the consulate general in Surabaya, Indonesia's second largest city, is completely closed.
Both offices may "temporarily close or suspend public services at other times in the weeks for security reasons," the US embassy said in a statement reaching here Friday.
At this time, the American embassy does not have plans to evacuate to a safe haven either its own employees or other American citizens, the statement said.
The US embassy has become the main target of the antiwar rallies here since US President George Bush on Monday gave Iraqi President Saddam Hussein 48 hours to leave Iraq or face war.
Thousands of antiwar protesters staged a peace rally in front of the US embassy on Thursday, hours after the US military forces began to attack Iraq. Hundreds more continued the rally in the evening, promising to do the same on Friday.
Some of US companies, such as the outlets of McDonald and Kentucky Fried Chicken, also became the target of protesters.
The US government has advised its citizens in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, to take prudent steps to ensure their personal safety in the coming days as a "result of heightened risks associated with the outbreak of hostilities, including the continued threat of terrorist attacks on Americans from groups associated with al-Qaeda."
(Xinhua News Agency March 21, 2003)