New Delhi: The US government in its December 25, 2022 travel advisory said that “the US government is aware of information that unknown individuals may be plotting to attack Americans at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad sometime during the holidays.”
The UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Department (FCDO) has also advised staff and citizens in Pakistan not to visit Marriott hotels and some other designated locations.
The US Travel Advisory has ordered with immediate effect that “the embassy in Islamabad prohibits all American staff from visiting the Islamabad Marriott Hotel”.
“Furthermore, since Islamabad has been put on red alert citing security concerns while banning all public gatherings, the embassy calls on all mission personnel to avoid non-essential and unofficial travel in Islamabad during the holiday season.”
They asked their citizens to be vigilant in events and places of worship, and to avoid places with large crowds; Review their security plans, identify and follow law enforcement requests, be aware of your surroundings, follow local media for updates.
Britain’s travel advisory, in addition to the possible attack on the Islamabad Marriott Hotel, issued recommendations against all travel to the districts of Baujar, Mohmand, Khyber, Orakzai, Kurram, North Waziristan and South Waziristan in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the districts of Charsadda, Kohat, Tank, Bannu, Lakki, Dera Ismail Khan, Swat, Buner and Lower Dir in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, the city and district of Peshawar, travel on the N45 road, from the north of the Mardan ring road, to the road. Extremity of Chitral District, Balochistan Province, excluding the southern coast of Balochistan, the section of the N35 (or Karakoram Highway) between the Mansehra Ring Road and the N15/N35 Chilas Interchange and within 10 miles of the Line of Control.
The US has asked its citizens to be vigilant at events, places of worship, and avoid crowded places; review your personal security plans, carry identification and follow law enforcement requests, be aware of your surroundings, follow local media for updates.
Meanwhile, the violence in Pakistan and a series of suicide bombings and attacks continues. Five explosions took place in Balochistan on Sunday, Christmas Day, leaving five soldiers, including a captain, dead and fifteen people injured, Pakistani media said.
A statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that during an intelligence-led killing operation – which has been ongoing since December 24 – an improvised explosive device exploded near a “leading party” in Kahan area of Kulu district. . As a result, five soldiers were killed, including a captain
The ISPR described the incident as a “terrorist threat carried out from outside” because “such cowardly acts by hostile elements cannot undermine the hard-earned peace and prosperity of Balochistan.”
At least five grenades were thrown at security posts across Balochistan, injuring several civilians and members of the security forces.
In a gunfight with terrorists this morning, one soldier was killed while two others were injured in Balochistan’s Job, according to a statement issued by ISPR.
According to local media, the blasts occurred as Pakistan celebrated the 146th birthday of Pakistan’s founder Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Christmas.
In recent weeks, Pakistan has witnessed a number of suicidal militant attacks, including when a number of security personnel were taken hostage in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Banu city, where Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants seized control of a compound of the Counter-Terrorism Department. The forces killed 25 TTP militants.
There were also border clashes between Afghan and Pakistani soldiers on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in the town of Chaman in Balochistan.