Australia to Upgrade Embassy Security around the World

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- Australia's foreign ministry said Wednesday it will boost security spending at its embassies by $52 million after a terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Saudi Arabia left nine dead earlier this week.

The money is in addition to $63 million earmarked for bomb-proofing windows at all Australian diplomatic missions after a suicide bomber exploded a truck outside the embassy in Jakarta on Sept. 9, killing 10 people, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said.

The terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Jiddah this week demonstrated the need for good perimeter security and hardened walls, Downer said.

"In this age of terrorism, we just cannot be too careful in providing protection for our diplomats,'' Downer told parliament. The new money will be spent over five years starting this fiscal year and begin as the embassies most at risk, he said.

The foreign ministry would not say how many buildings would be involved.

The upgrade would replicate measures used by the U.S. and British governments and will include strengthening walls, installing bomb blast protection, and buying more armored cars and metal detectors.

Downer said the upgrade had been recommended after a two-year study by his department.

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