The Latest: US Embassy warns citizens in Belgium: Stay home

Belgian Army soldiers patrol next to flowers left outside of the French Consulates office in Brussels Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. Belgium raised it security level to it's highest degree on Saturday as the manhunt continues for extremist Salah Abdeslam who took part in the Paris attacks. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

BRUSSELS (AP) — The U.S. Embassy in Belgium has urged Americans in the country “to shelter in place and remain at home” after local authorities warned the threat of a terrorist attack in the Brussels area is serious and imminent.

In a statement on its website Saturday, the embassy said “if you must go out, avoid large crowds.” It said it would provide updated information as it becomes available.

Brussels is home to the headquarters of the U.S.-led NATO alliance and the offices of many American and foreign companies.

The American mission urged U.S. citizens to “exercise caution in public transportation systems, sporting events, residential areas, business offices, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, public areas, shopping malls, and other tourist destinations.”

Belgium’s government crisis center earlier Saturday raised the terrorism alert to its highest level, saying the threat of an attack is “serious and imminent.”

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