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Caller threatens to blow up UN building

world Updated: Jul 03, 2008 13:06 IST

A United Nations office in the Pakistani capital received a telephone threat to blow up its building, prompting the organisation to ask its staffers to stay at home and beef up security.

"A threatening phone call was made to a Gender Support Programme office of the UN in Islamabad on Tuesday and investigations are underway," UN Communication Officer Amna Ali Kamal said.

A suicide car bomb attack outside the Danish Embassy here last month had caused extensive damage to the office of a UN-backed non-governmental organisation. Eight persons were killed in the bombing.

Security around the United Nations country's office in Islamabad was tightened after the unidentified caller said that the building would be blown up.

A bomb disposal squad was asked to scan the building and adjoining areas and personnel of law enforcement agencies were deployed around the building.

Rejecting reports about the closure of UN offices in Pakistan due to the threating call, Kamal told the Daily Times newspaper that UN authorities had asked staffers of the Gender Support Programme office to remain at home and keep in touch via the Internet.

"One of our staffers working at the office of Gender Support Programme being run in collaboration with UNDP had received a threatening phone call and the police are tracing out the unidentified caller as the government cannot take such things lightly," she said.

The security at all UN offices is already tight and they are functioning normally, she said. The UN is working on a plan to relocate all its offices to the high-security Diplomatic Enclave. The construction of a pre-fabricated building is already under way at the enclave.