Saudi embassy advises its citizens in Pakistan to ‘remain careful, limit movement’

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ISLAMABAD, DEC 26: The Saudi Arabian embassy in Islamabad issued a security alert for the kingdom’s citizens in Pakistan on Monday, advising them to remain “careful and limit their movement” amid rising terror threat.

The alert comes a day after the US embassy stopped its staff from visiting Islamabad’s Marriott Hotel due to fears of an attack. A few other embassies have also advised their staff and citizens in the federal capital to restrict their movement for some time, especially until Jan 1.

The Islamabad police had also raised security to high alert in the capital. The police had said that checking was increased at all entry and exit points and requested the public to cooperate with inspections.

The Saudi security alert advised incoming Saudi residents and those in the country to “be cautious” and not venture out except for any necessity. “Security of Islamabad has been placed at the highest level,” the alert said, adding that Saudis should contact the embassy and consulate if the need arises.

The developments come in the wake of a suicide bombing in the federal capital on Friday which claimed the lives of a policeman and a taxi driver.

According to the Islamabad-based Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS), it was the first suicide attack in the capital since 2014.

A total of 165 people lost their lives and over 600 were injured in 18 suicide attacks in the city from 2005 to 2014. The last suicide attack took place in March 2014 when two persons blew themselves up in the Judicial Complex at F-8 sector.

The country has seen 504 suicide attacks over the last 22 years. A total of 6,748 people were killed and 15,111 injured in these attacks.