British government issues alert for Pakistan

Aug. 8, 2013 at 10:43 AM

LONDON, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- The British government said Thursday it was maintaining a heightened state of alert regarding citizen safety in parts of Pakistan.

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office issued a warning for Pakistan last week, saying it expected violence to increase near Eid al-Fitr, a holiday marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

The Pakistani newspaper Dawn reports at least 30 people, including more than 20 police officers, were killed in a Wednesday suicide bombing at a funeral in Quetta, the provincial capital Balochistan.

The foreign and commonwealth office Thursday said it was maintaining a high state of alert for Pakistan, warning against all travel to parts of Balochistan.

"There is a high threat from terrorism and sectarian violence throughout Pakistan," the warning said. "Attacks could be indiscriminate including in places frequented by foreigners."

The U.S. State Department issued a global advisory last week following the intercept of a message from al-Qaida leaders in Pakistan. The international police force, Interpol, issued a separate warning regarding al-Qaida prison breaks in Pakistan, Iraq and Libya.

The British government stressed nearly 270,000 of its citizens visit Pakistan every year. "Most visits are trouble-free," it said.

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