Page last updated at 09:07 GMT, Thursday, 25 September 2008 10:07 UK

Bomb alert at Islamabad airport

Pakistani policemen in Islamabad on September 4, 2008
Police are taking the threat seriously

The Pakistani authorities have stepped up security at the international airport in the capital, Islamabad.

The move follows intelligence reports suggesting that a suicide bomber was about to target the airport.

Flights are continuing as normal, although some airport complexes were closed for a time.

The mood in Islamabad has been jittery all week after Saturday's huge bombing which devastated the Marriott Hotel in the city, killing more than 50 people.


There have been reports that more bombs for suicide attacks have been smuggled into the city in trucks or cars. Officials are taking a bomb threat against the airport seriously.

Planes are still landing and taking off but security measures have been stepped up.

The BBC's Syed Shoaib Hasan says that Benazir Bhutto International airport was evacuated and searched as soon as the bomb threat emerged.

While offices and the lounges re-opened soon afterwards, vehicle access to the airport is still restricted.

Only passengers with valid tickets are being allowed into the airport complex and then only after a thorough examination of their luggage.

All non-essential staff and personnel have been asked to leave the premises - similar security measures have been implemented in airports all over the country.

British Airways has already suspended its flights to Islamabad indefinitely and foreign companies and diplomatic missions in Pakistan are conducting urgent reviews of security.

The United States has now prohibited all American government personnel from staying at or visiting major hotels in Islamabad, Karachi and Peshawar.

And both the US embassy and the British high commission have temporarily suspended their visa application services.

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