US bars staff from visiting Islamabad's Marriott Hotel citing 'possible attack'
Pakistan's capital was already placed on high alert following a suicide bombing earlier this week.
The US embassy in Pakistan on Sunday barred its government staff from visiting Islamabad’s Marriott Hotel, citing the possibility of an “attack”. Pakistan's capital was already placed on high alert following a suicide bombing earlier this week.
In a security alert, the US government said it is aware of information that “unknown individuals are possibly plotting to attack Americans at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad sometime during the holidays”. It also urged all personnel to refrain from non-essential and unofficial travel in Islamabad throughout the holiday season.
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The alert follows a suicide bombing in a residential area two days ago, which killed a police officer and injured ten others. The responsibility for the attack was reportedly claimed by the militants of Pakistani Taliban, who are separate from but allied with Afghanistan's rulers. Since then, Islamabad's administration has put the city on high alert, banning public gatherings and processions. Patrolling has been stepped up and snap checkpoints established to inspect vehicles.
Marriott Hotel was hit by a suicide bombing in September 2008, in one of the deadliest such incidents in the capital that killed 63 people and wounded over 250 others.
(With AP inputs)