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July 17, 1999
US fears attacks on its Pak interests
The United States has warned that Afghanistan-based extremists may soon attack American interests in Pakistan.
''The US government has received a growing body of information that suggests strongly that extremists based in Afghanistan are preparing to attack US interests in Pakistan in the near future,'' the state department said in a travel warning yesterday.
The department gave no details.
But it noted that one group, the Harakat-ul-Mujahideen, recently issued a ''ban (against) the travel of all American citizens, including diplomats'' to Kashmir.
The state department also said it remained 'seriously concerned' about the safety and security of American citizens in Pakistan given the presence of Saudi-born dissident Osama Bin Laden in neighbouring Afghanistan and ''the public support and sympathy for him in Pakistan''.
Bin Laden has been indicted in the United States for masterminding last year's bombing of the American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya which killed at least 226 people and injured thousands more.
Washington responded to the attacks by bombing facilities in Afghanistan and Sudan that it believed were linked to Bin Laden.
In the travel warning, the department urged Americans to ''evaluate carefully the implications for their security and safety before deciding to travel to Pakistan''.
It said that while tensions between India and Pakistan over the military conflict in Jammu and Kashmir appear to be declining, ''certain extremist groups in Pakistan have voiced opposition to the government of Pakistan's role in the de-escalation'' of the crisis.
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