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US to close Pakistan embassy, consulates amid protests

March 17, 2011

Riot police cordon off a street leading to the US embassy during a protest rally against the release of Davis in Islamabad.—AFP

ISLAMABAD: The US embassy in Islamabad will close its doors and shut its consulates in Pakistan on Friday because of protests after the release of a CIA contractor accused of double murder.

Small demonstrations broke out across the country after American Raymond Davis was set free Wednesday after paying $2 million in blood money to the families of the dead.

“The US embassy and consulates will be closed for routine business tomorrow,” embassy spokesman Alberto Rodriguez said on Thursday.

The decision was made “for public safety at large because there may be demonstrations tomorrow”.

The biggest protest following Davis' release was in Lahore, where some 800 students rallied at Punjab University campus chanting anti-US slogans such as “Death to America”.