WASHINGTON – US citizens should avoid travel to Pakistan, the State Department said today, in a fresh warning that follows numerous protests, demonstrations and rallies in Pakistan that US officials said are likely to continue.
Officials upgraded their ongoing caution about the travel risks in Pakistan, explicitly advising Americans to put off any non-essential travel to the country. They also “strongly urged” those who are already there to avoid protests and large gatherings.
The State Department said the presence of al Qaeda, Taliban elements, and “indigenous militant sectarian groups poses a potential danger to US citizens throughout Pakistan.”
Today’s warning follows a wave of anti-American demonstrations in predominantly Muslim countries, including a deadly protest in Libya last week that killed a US ambassador and three other Americans.
The protests, which were sparked by an Internet video that mocked the Prophet Mohammad and swept through Yemen, Egypt and other countries, also prompted the US government to withdraw non-essential personnel in Tunisia and Sudan.
In Pakistan, protesters demonstrated in more than a dozen cities.
State Department officials said they may restrict government personnel travel between its embassy and consulates in Pakistan for security or other reasons and that those assigned to the Consulates General are severely restricted.
Additionally, they said US officials in Islamabad should limit how often they travel and how long they stay in public places such as markets and restaurants.
The United States has a complicated relationship with Pakistan, a strategic US ally. US officials have issued ongoing warnings about travel there, noting the increased possible threat to US travelers since al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan in May 2011. (Reuters)
Recent Local News
- Ministry launches investigation into death at senior citizens home
- Update - Police release the name of Vauxhall victim
- Police probe another unnatural death in St Lucy
- Family mourns for Mario Peters
- Update: Police investigate homicide at senior citizens home
- Police probe unnatural death in Christ Church
- GUYANA - Probe launched into death of cancer patients
- TRINIDAD - Gov't prepares legislation to treat with asylum seekers
- GUYANA - Legislator who brought down gov't may have committed treason
- GUYANA - Gov't maintains position regarding incident involving Venezuelan navy
- JAMAICA - Twenty murders in first week of 2019
- Caribbean islands record three earthquakes in 24 hours
- Mobile App