Lahore consulate evacuated by the U.S.
US evacuates staff in Lahore consulate
Fri, 09 Aug 2013 06:02:29 GMT
The US Department of State has ordered the evacuation of some staff members from the consulate in Lahore, Pakistan, warning US citizens not to travel to the country.
On Thursday, Washington ordered the non-essential government personnel to leave the Lahore consulate, in what it called the presence of foreign and indigenous ‘terrorist groups’ posing a danger to US citizens.
“The US embassy in Islamabad advises all US citizens to avoid these areas, remain vigilant, keep a low profile, and continue to exercise caution while in Pakistan,” said a message on the US embassy website.
“We received information regarding a threat to the consulate. As a precautionary measure, we are undertaking a drawdown of all except emergency personnel,” said Meghan Gregonis, the US Embassy spokesperson in Islamabad.
The announcement coincides with the scheduled closure of the Lahore consulate for the Eid holiday from Thursday through Sunday, with no plans to reopen the center in the near future.
Officials said the drawdown was not related to the recent closures of numerous US diplomatic missions in the Muslim world.
On August 4, the State Department ordered the closure of 21 diplomatic facilities after intelligence agencies said they had picked up “chatter” from senior al-Qaeda leaders indicating major attacks through August.
In September, the administration of US President Barack Obama was censured for not doing enough to protect the consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Four Americans including US Ambassador Chris Stevens were killed in an attack on the facility.