US evacuates staff from Lahore consulate over 'threats'
LAHORE, Pakistan (AFP) - The United States has evacuated all non-emergency staff from its consulate in the Pakistani city of Lahore, citing "specific threats" amid a worldwide alert over Al-Qaeda intercepts.
The US State Department also reiterated a longstanding warning to US citizens to avoid all non-essential travel to Pakistan, in a statement issued late on Thursday Washington time.
The move came as two fresh attacks, one on the edge of the heavily-guarded capital, marred the start of the Islamic festival of Eid al-Fitr and highlighted the parlous security situation in the nuclear-armed nation.
The restive southwestern city of Quetta, focus of a surge in sectarian bloodshed, suffered its second deadly attack in two days, while a security guard was killed in a foiled suicide bombing at a Shi'ite mosque on the outskirts of Islamabad.