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Britain warns of possible terror attacks in S. Africa

JOHANNESBURG, June 6 (Xinhua) -- The British High Commission in Pretoria warned on Monday that there is a high threat from terrorism attacks in South Africa.

"There is a high threat from terrorism. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners such as shopping areas in Johannesburg and Cape Town," it said.

"There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time," said the Commission.

This followed a similar warning from the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria on Saturday.

The embassy said the U.S. government has received information that terrorist groups are planning to carry out near-term attacks against places where U.S. citizens congregate in South Africa, such as upscale shopping areas and malls in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

"This information comes against the backdrop of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's public call for its adherents to carry out terrorist attacks globally during the upcoming month of Ramadan," the embassy said without giving further details.

On Monday, the South African government called for calm, downplayed the terror alert.

State Security Minister David Mahlobo said the government has noted the terror alert and there is no need to panic.

He said South African security forces will ensure that all people within South Africa are secure.

"We remain a strong and stable democratic country and there is no immediate danger posed by the alert," he said in a statement.

"The security services will continue to work on matters of violent extremism and terrorism amongst others and ensure the safety of all citizens and residents," said the minister.

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