The U.S. Department of State is warning U.S. citizens not to travel to Pakistan unless they have to amid ongoing security concerns in the country.
The U.S. also ordered the evacuation of all non-emergency personnel from the U.S. Consulate in Lahore “due to specific threats” concerning the consulate.
In the August 8 notice, the U.S. warns about the presence of several foreign and indigenous terrorist groups, and advises the following to U.S. citizens in Pakistan:
-Avoid large gatherings and protests
-Don’t use public transportation
-Don’t travel to restricted regions without official permission from the Pakistani government
The notice includes the following:
“Rallies, demonstrations, and processions occur regularly throughout Pakistan on very short notice. Demonstrations might take on an anti-U.S. or anti-Western character, and U.S. citizens are urged to avoid large gatherings. Anti-U.S. protests in September 2012 attracted large crowds outside U.S. diplomatic facilities in all major cities and caused casualties and significant property damage. The Mission reminds U.S. citizens that even peaceful demonstrations might become violent and advises U.S. citizens to avoid demonstrations. Given multiple demands for resources, local authorities may have limited capacity to respond to requests for assistance.”
Recent attacks in Pakistan include:
-A March 3 bomb explosion that destroyed several buildings and killed over 50 people in Karachi
-Two bomb attacks in February and January in Quetta, killing over 80 people each
-Unidentified terrorists attacked a U.S. government vehicle last September, injuring both U.S. and Pakastani personnel