Red alert in Islamabad as Taliban advances
Islamabad, April 10, 2009
A red alert has been sounded in the Pakistan capital following reports that heavily-armed terrorists have entered Islamabad to carry out a major strike.
The heightened threat perception has forced the authorities to shut down schools. US embassy in Islamabad too has been shut down for a day. The embassy has issued an urgent advisory asking all US citizens to stay indoors.
Regular consular services, such as visa processing for Pakistani nationals, won't be available in the capital. But the embassy will still be available to provide emergency services to Americans.
The consulates in Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar will remain open. Islamabad based offices of international donor organisations will also remain closed today.
Plot to attack
The plot was unearthed with the arrest of four suicide-attackers on Thursday evening. Police suspect there are more fidayeen on the prowl. The FIA and the Islamabad police has chalked out a joint action plan to hunt them down. A massive manhunt is on.
This is what sources told the Pak daily The News about these attackers on the prowl
The fidayeen belong to the Baitullah Mehsud group
29 suicide attackers have entered Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Lahore
9 terrorists along with 20 Uzbeks left Waziristan in March to attack different Pak cities
Pakistan's Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry is high on their hit-list
Meanwhile, in their bid to takeover Islamabad, around 400 to 500 armed terrorists entered Buner's Bagra and Kalabatt areas, setting houses on fire. Buner district is northwest of Islamabad, barely 100 kms away.
"We will take over Islamabad," Mullah Nazeer Ahmad, Taliban leader, had declared.
This comes two days after clashes with a people's war group or 'lashkar' that was formed to stop the Taliban advance.
While, Buner seems to have fallen to the Taliban, it went down fighting. Locals dug huge pits at the village borders to impede Taliban's entry. Women and children were sent off to safer locations. But Taliban terrosists killed tribal elders, the members of the local war group and also policemen in violent clashes.
First it was Swat and now Buner. Terrorists now only need to cross one district - Haripur before they reach Islamabad. And PoK is very close to where all the action is-a threat that neighbouring India would certainly be worried over.
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