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US pulls diplomats from Pakistan's Lahore over terror alert

US pulls diplomats from Pakistans Lahore over terror alert

Washington: The US has evacuated most of its diplomats from Lahore in response to a terrorist threat against the US consulate, CNN reported citing senior State Department and other senior US officials.

"We have picked up what we regard as a threat worthy of taking this action," the news channel cited one senior US official as saying.

The State Department issued an "ordered departure" for all of its diplomats in Lahore Thursday, except for a handful of emergency personnel. The diplomats were moved to Islamabad, Pakistan's capital, officials said.

A travel warning issued by the State Department said the department "ordered this drawdown due to specific threats concerning the US Consulate in Lahore" and warned US citizens against travel to Pakistan.

"The presence of several foreign and indigenous terrorist groups poses a potential danger to US citizens throughout Pakistan," the travel warning said.

CNN said it was unclear whether the latest threat to the consulate was related to a current threat against US facilities and personnel that prompted the United States to close diplomatic posts throughout the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

While one US official said it was not related, a second US official said the connection wasn't clear, it said.

"We are still digging and trying to trace whether it is related," the senior US official said about the possible link between the heightened threat against the US in the region and the threat against the consulate in Lahore.

"I'm not willing to say it's related, but can't say it is unrelated. We just don't have that level of granularity yet," he was quoted as saying.

No US diplomatic posts in Pakistan were closed as a result of the earlier warning.

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