US diplomats in Beirut burning classified material
Washington: Diplomats at the US Embassy in Beirut have started to destroy classified material as a security precaution amid anti-American protests in Lebanon and elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa.
A State Department status report obtained today by The Associated Press said the Beirut embassy had "reviewed its emergency procedures and is beginning to destroy classified holdings."
It also said that local Lebanese employees were sent home early due to protests by the militant Shiite group Hezbollah over a film deemed offensive to Islam.
In Washington, a State Department official said there was no imminent threat to the heavily fortified Beirut embassy, which is about an hour away from where the nearest demonstration is planned.
Protesters have breached the compounds of several US diplomatic missions since last Tuesday.
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