ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – The United States embassy in Islamabad warned its staff of a possible attack on Americans at a top hotel, according to sources, amid high alert after recent suicide bombing.
Earlier this month, the US has declared one senior official of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) as “terrorists”, where the group took responsibility for majority of the attacks more recently in the country.
The US government has obtained information that “unknown individuals are possibly plotting to attack Americans at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad sometime during the holidays”, the embassy said in a security alert on Sunday, as Aljazeera wrote.
The advisory banned US embassy staff and other nationals from visiting the popular hotel over the Christmas holiday.
The US mission also urged all personnel to refrain from non-essential travel in Islamabad during the holiday season, according to the report.
The embassy directive came days after a suicide bombing in a residential area of Islamabad on Friday killed a police officer and wounded further 10 people.
Just like most of the recent attacks, the Pakistani Taliban, also known as the TTP, claimed responsibility for the attack.
The government has put Islamabad on high alert, banning public gatherings and processions even as campaigning is under way for local elections.
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Earlier this month, the Pakistani Taliban announced they no longer abide by a month-long ceasefire with the government, urging fighters to resume attacks in retaliation towards a continuous military campaigns.
Mohammad Khurasani, a spokesman for the militant group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) told Reuters in a text message that its leadership had decided to end the ceasefire with Pakistan, as India Express reported.
The group claimed responsibility for Wednesday attack that targeted a police truck in Quetta, Pakistan, killing at least three people and further 23 injured.
Senior police official Azhar Mehesar told AFP the blast targeted a police team preparing to escort polio vaccinators in the city of Quetta, where at least a policeman, a woman and a child were killed.
Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) – commonly known as the Pakistani Taliban – is an umbrella organization of various Islamist armed militant groups operating along the Afghan–Pakistani border.
Formed in 2007 by Baitullah Mehsud, its current leader is Noor Wali Mehsud, who has publicly pledged allegiance to the Afghan Taliban (Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan).