State Dept. Evacuates Staff From U.S. Consulate in Pakistan

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 9 2013 9:17 AM

State Dept. Evacuates Staff From U.S. Consulate in Pakistan

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Pakistani paramilitary soldiers take positon in a bunker outside the US consulate in Lahore on August 9, 2013

Photo by Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images

Things continue to be tense at American diplomatic posts across the globe. The State Department on Friday evacuated nonessential government personnel from its consulate in Lahore because of what it says is a specific threat to the diplomatic post in Pakistan's second-largest city. The Associated Press with the details:

According to U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Meghan Gregonis, the U.S. is shifting its nonessential staff from the consulate in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore to the capital, Islamabad. Emergency personnel will stay in Lahore, and embassy officials do not know when the consulate will reopen, she said.
"We received information regarding a threat to the consulate," said Gregonis. "As a precautionary measure, we are undertaking a drawdown of all except emergency personnel."
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Other than that, little is known about the specific threat. The move is said to be unrelated to the threat of an al-Qaida attack that prompted the temporary closure of 19 other diplomatic posts in Africa and the Middle East this week. However, like at many of those U.S. posts, the consulate in Lahor had already planned to be closed this weekend for the Eid celebration at the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

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Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

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