US shuts Pakistan embassy, consulates
Tue, 03 May 2011 08:48:55 GMT
The United States closes its embassy and three consulates to the public in Pakistan following its announced claim of killing al-Qaeda's leader Osama bin Laden in the terror-ravaged country.
"The US embassy in Islamabad and the consulates in Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi are closed for routine business to the general public until further notice," the US embassy announced.
The embassy and the consulates, however, remain open for "other business and for emergency American citizen services," AFP quoted a statement as saying on Tuesday.
The move appears to be a pre-emptive measure by the US State Department amid fears of retaliatory attacks on the embassy staff following what has been regarded as US-sponsored media hype of bin Laden's killing declaration on Sunday.
Pro-Taliban militants in Pakistan threaded to launch retaliatory attacks on the United States following the killing of the al-Qaeda leader.
"We will avenge his death and launch attacks against American and Pakistani governments and their security forces," militants' spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said.
The Leader of al-Qaeda was reportedly tracked down and shot to death on Sunday at his compound in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad, northeast of the capital Islamabad.
The US President Barack Obama's administration did not notify the Pakistani government about its plan to launch the attack on what it has described as bin Laden's compound, citing "the need to maintain complete secrecy" on the operation as the primary reason.
Following the news release on bin Laden's death, the US State Department issued a global travel warning for all American citizens, arguing that the killing may provoke anti-American violence among al-Qaeda members across the world.
Osama's disciples marched in the Pakistani city of Quetta on Monday to condemn the announced killing and to pay homage to the terrorist leader who once cooperated with the American government to drive former Soviet Union forces from Afghanistan.