Beijing on alert over terror threat; Western countries urge vigilance
Several Western governments on Thursday advised their citizens in the Chinese capital to exercise caution around Christmas Day after receiving warning of a possible terrorist attack, as Beijing police raised their alert level and deployed forces around the city.
The US, British, French, Australian and Irish governments said Westerners in the Sanlitun area have been targeted, without elaborating on the nature of the threat. No details on the threat were released by Chinese authorities either.
The US embassy urged American citizens living in the capital to "exercise heightened vigilance."
Sanlitun is a fashionable district that is popular for its shopping and nightlife and is also the location of a number of embassies.
Following the threat, Beijing police declared a yellow security alert, the city's second-lowest level. Camouflage-clad paramilitary police were deployed in Sanlitun and other areas across the city. In a statement, the city government said the alert would last through the Christmas weekend.