ISLAMABAD, March 18: The government has directed the provincial police chiefs to take extra security measures around the US installations, foreign missions, consulates and the five-star hotels in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Karachi, Peshawar and Lahore.

Sources said the directives were issued by the Interior Minister Moinuddin Haider on Monday in the wake of the terrorist attack on Protestant International Church in Islamabad which left five people dead and more than 40 injured.

A travel advisory issued by the US embassy after the attack on Sunday also warned the US citizens to avoid public places and stay close to home.

The directives by the interior minister, the sources said, were prompted by the law enforcement and intelligence agencies reports that foreigners, especially the US nationals, might be targeted in the coming days by militants of the banned organisations.

The Karachi police, the sources said, had informed the US Consulate in Karachi about the threat to US citizens a day before the attack occurred on the church in Islamabad.

The City Police chief Islamabad has been directed to make extra security arrangements around the American School, United States Information Services building and the two five-star hotels — Marriott and the newly inaugurated Serena hotel, the sources said.

Similar instructions have been issued to the respective police chiefs of Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar.

On Monday, the interior ministry constituted a committee comprising police, army and interior ministry officials to coordinate investigation into the terrorist attack on the church.

The committee, the officials said, would coordinate with the military and civil intelligence officials to trace the main culprits behind the attack and identify any lapses in the security in the heavily-guarded diplomatic enclave.

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations have collected circumstantial evidence from the church for forensic, chemical and scientific examinations, the sources said.

The US authorities and the Pakistani officials are examining the evidence to see if the “head and the two legs” of the unidentified body at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences were of the same person who carried out the attack.

The Army officials initially believed the terrorist was blown up.However, the US investigators have expressed doubt over the possibility of the unidentified mutilated body being that of the man who perpetrated the attack.

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