'Imminent security threat' at US consulate in Istanbul

Washington - US authorities warned on Saturday that an "imminent security threat" existed at the American consulate in Istanbul, and advised citizens to stay away from the compound.

"We strongly encourage US citizens to maintain a high level of vigilance, be aware of local events, and take the appropriate steps to bolster your personal security," the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) said in a statement.

"Due to information about an imminent security threat against the US consulate compound, the US Consulate General Istanbul advises all US citizens to avoid the US consulate today," said the OSAC, which promotes security cooperation and information-sharing between US businesses and the State Department.

It added that the compound is already closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

The warning comes just three days after a couple shot 14 people dead in a rampage in San Bernardino, California. On Saturday the Islamic State group praised the perpetrators as "soldiers" of its caliphate.

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