US closes Pakistan embassy, consulates

2011-05-03 10:03
Islamabad - The US on Tuesday closed its embassy and three consulates in Pakistan to the public until further notice, a day after Osama bin Laden was killed near the capital Islamabad.

"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 embassy said.

A statement said the embassy and consulates, however, would remain open for "other business and for emergency American citizen services".

The statement came amid fears of reprisals after al-Qaeda leader bin Laden was killed in a helicopter and ground raid by US special forces on a compound two hours from the Pakistani capital on Monday.

The US State Department issued a global travel alert to all its citizens following the death of bin Laden, saying there could be an outbreak of anti-American violence.

Security

"The US Department of State alerts US citizens travelling and residing abroad to the enhanced potential for anti-American violence given recent counter-terrorism activity in Pakistan," it said in a statement.

It added that the warning would remain in effect until August 1.

Pakistan's main Taliban faction has promised to avenge bin Laden's death and attack "American and Pakistani governments and their security forces".

Pakistan has already beefed up security across major cities, diplomatic installations and around the site of the killing in Abbottabad.

More troops were deployed in Islamabad to safeguard government offices and the city's diplomatic enclave, while in Lahore and Karachi, the two biggest cities, extra roadblocks and barbed wire were laid around sensitive buildings.

Hundreds of people took to the streets on Monday in the south-western city of Quetta, close to neighbouring Afghanistan, to denounce America, burn a US flag and pay homage to the al-Qaeda mastermind.

"His martyrdom will not end the movement, it will continue and thousands more bin Ladens will be born," said federal lawmaker Maulawi Asmatullah, who led the protest.
- SAPA
Read more on:    osama bin laden  |  pakistan  |  us  |  9/11 attacks
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