ISLAMABAD, June 28: Additional security has been provided to three federal ministers on the basis of intelligence reports that militants in South Waziristan have decided to eliminate them.

The ministers were advised on Thursday to curtail their movement and, if possible, avoid going to their constituencies for some time. Minister for Interior Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmad and Minister for Political Affairs Amir Muqam have been provided bullet-proof automobiles.

Mr Sherpao, who survived an assassination attempt a few months ago in Charsadda, is being described as a prime target.

Informed sources told Dawn that intelligence agencies, keeping an eye on developments in the militancy-stricken Waziristan region, have intercepted information indicating that the militants planned to target the three ministers.

It is learnt that on the orders of militant commander Baitullah Mehsud more than three suicide bombers have been sent to attack the ministers.

Senior intelligence officials are reported to have asked the ministers to avoid travelling to Rawalpindi and adjoining areas.

However, Sheikh Rashid is learnt to have said that it is not possible for him to avoid going to his native Rawalpindi, particularly when elections are fast approaching.

Sources said that Baitullah Mehsud decided to target the ministers after four militant carrying RDX explosives were arrested in Islamabad a week ago.

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