Pakistan's intelligence agencies warned of ten more terror attacks aimed at high profile targets, a day after a suicide bomber blew himself up at the Islamabad Airport, injuring several persons.
A nationwide alert sounded on Tuesday was followed up with specific instructions to the provincial governments and their security agencies.
Hotels and buildings commonly used by VIPs are the most likely targets to seek revenge for the current military operations in South Waziristan, aimed at evicting the Taliban fighters, the Daily Times said quoting unnamed sources.
Of the 10 suicide missions, two have been assigned to female bombers, who would target gatherings of VIPs, sources said, citing intelligence reports submitted to the Interior Ministry.
The reports say that the targets are mostly high-ranking officials of law-enforcement agencies. They say that a few Uzbeks are also part of the suicide missions.
Pakistan is home to foreign Islamist mercenaries of different nationalities, who have defied attempts at eviction and remain ensconced mostly in tribal areas of North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), where South Waziristan is located.
"What made the attack ominous was that it occurred shortly after Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz returned from Gwadar on a special flight," Dawn newspaper said, although Aziz used the terminal on the Chaklala side of the airport that has been dedicated to VVIP movement.
Tuesday's incident was the latest in a string of violent attacks over the past fortnight in Pakistan. It was the second in Islamabad after the Marriot Hotel attack on January 26.
Officials said they found the airport attack most troubling as the suspects almost succeeded in dodging the security cordon at one of the most important international airports in the country.
This was the fifth suicide attack hitting security officials in the last 15 days, media reports said.
Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao praised the intelligence agencies for foiling the attack, saying: "It could have been worse."