Islamabad, Sept 25 : Amid threat of more Marriott-like terror strikes in the near future in Pakistan from the militant outfit Fedayeen al-Islam (which claimed responsibility for Saturday's blast), the country's President Asif Ali Zardari has appealed to his countrymen to support the war-on-terror.
He said that international support for Pakistani anti-terror efforts was "important", but the unilateral US strikes undermined efforts to "win hearts and minds" of his countrymen.
"The idea is to increase acceptance of the fight inside Pakistan and outside Pakistan, and we are striving to improve on this idea," foxnews.com quoted Zardari as telling a Pakistan-based news agency in New York.
Last evening, the little known terror group "Fedayeen al-Islam" called upon the "facilitators of the US" to stop cooperating with the US and referred to Marriott Hotel's name by name. "All those who will facilitate Americans and NATO crusaders like Marriott owner Sadruddin Haswani, they will keep on receiving the blows," said the terror message written in English.
Concerned about the possibility of further attacks, the U.S. State Department has announced it is prohibiting all American government personnel from staying at or even visiting major hotels in Islamabad and the key cities of Karachi and Peshawar, and told them to stay away from restaurants as well. In addition, a notice from the US Embassy in Islamabad urged American citizens working or visiting there to take similar precautions, while announcing that visa and other routine consular services were temporarily suspended as of Thursday. Emergency assistance to U.S. citizens will continue to be available.
The group in an earlier message had claimed responsibility for Saturday's truck bombing that killed 53 people and wounded more than 270, even Pakistan officials suspect Al Qaeda or Taliban militants behind the bombing.