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Washington – The United States is shutting down routine operations at its embassy in Nicaragua and pulling out some if its employees amid a string of deadly protests.

The State Department says it’s raising the threat level for Nicaragua and encouraging Americans to reconsider plans to travel there.

Family members of U.S. diplomats who also work at the embassy are being ordered out of the country until security improves. The State Department says it’s also allowing U.S. government officials posted to Nicaragua to leave “on a case-by-case basis.”

The U.S. Embassy in Managua will stop providing services to the public, except for emergencies or by phone.

Rights groups say dozens have died in protests and looting triggered by changes to the social security system. On Sunday, President Daniel Ortega withdrew the changes.

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