The US embassy in Islamabad has instructed its staff to avoid the Marriott Hotel in Pakistan’s capital citing the possibility of a terror attack. The security alert issued by the embassy said that they are aware of a plot to attack Americans at the Marriott Hotel during the ongoing holiday season.
The embassy has also instructed Americans to avoid non-essential travel to Islamabad during this period citing the Red Alert in the city and the ban on public gatherings. The alert has been issued just two days after a suicide bombing in Islamabad killed 1 policeman and left 6 others injured.
Flash: US govt issues alert & restricts officials from visiting Islamabad’s Marriott Hotel ‘due to possible attack.’ pic.twitter.com/iOiL4NgvZP
— Sidhant Sibal (@sidhant) December 25, 2022
Following the suicide bombing, the authorities issued a red alert and banned all public gatherings in Pakistan’s capital city. The activities related to the upcoming local government elections have also been suspended for two weeks.
The US embassy has asked its staff to stay vigilant if they are attending any events, or visiting religious places, and have been asked to stay away from places with large crowds. They have also been instructed to carry their identification at all times and keep track of local media if they are travelling.
2008 terror attack at Marriott Islamabad
In 2008, Marriott Hotel in Islamabad was the target of a deadly terror attack that killed 54 people and left over 250 injured. A dumpster truck filled with explosives was rammed into the front gate of the hotel on September 20 that year. The explosion, carried out by using 600 KGs of explosives, destroyed a part of the hotel. The hotel was closed for a few months as the renovations took place.