- Associated Press - Thursday, December 24, 2015

BEIJING (AP) — Beijing police tightened security around a bar and shopping area popular with foreigners on Thursday as embassies issued warnings for their citizens to be on guard against possible threats against Westerners.

The American, British, French and other embassies said they had received information of possible threats against Westerners in the Sanlitun area on or around Christmas Day, and urged their citizens to be vigilant.

Embassy spokespeople contacted said they had no more information to share.

Dozens of police, some with rifles, were standing on guard in the area, which has many big-name brand stores and some embassies. Roads leading into the embassy area were closed to traffic.

Beijing police also announced Thursday that they had issued a yellow security alert to ensure safety during the Christmas period.

According to Beijing’s security regulations, the alert is the lowest on a three-tier security warning scale for large stores or shopping and entertainment areas and is issued in case of receiving threats or finding suspected explosives.

Police commonly issue a yellow alert during holiday periods.

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