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US Embassy in Islamabad suspends consular services
September 25, 2008 14:54 IST
In the wake of the deadly suicide attack on Marriott Hotel, the United States embassy in Islamabad [Images] on Thursday suspended its consular services and said American officials would no longer be permitted to stay in or frequent hotels in the eastern city of Lahore [Images].
A statement issued by the embassy said routine consular services, including visa services, would be temporarily suspended on September 25 and 26. All visa interviews would be rescheduled, it said.
"Effective immediately, US government personnel are no longer permitted to stay or frequent major hotels in Lahore. Personnel are already prohibited from staying at or frequenting major hotels in Islamabad, Karachi, and Peshawar," the statement said.
Two US Marines were among the more than 50 people killed when a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden truck into the gate of a Islamabad hotel on Saturday.
The deadly attack also injured 266 people and gutted the five-star hotel, a favourite gathering spot for Westerners and the Pakistani elite.
Western diplomatic missions have been on high alert since the attack, which also killed the Czech Ambassador.
The US embassy also said a travel advisory warning American citizens against traveling to Pakistan would remain in effect. The statement said the embassy would continue providing emergency services to Americans.
"The embassy reiterates its advice to all Americans to take appropriate individual precautions to ensure their safety and security at all times. These measures include maintaining good situational awareness, avoiding crowds and demonstrations and keeping a low profile," the statement said.
"Americans should avoid setting patterns by varying times and routes for all required travel. Americans should ensure that their travel documents and visas are valid at all times," it said.
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