Washington: The US has issued a travel alert, warning its citizens about the risks in travelling to Pakistan in view of recent developments and tension in US-Pak ties following the NATO raid that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

Replacing its previous travel warning dated April 8, 2011, the State Department on Thursday asked its citizens to avoid protests and large gatherings which are taking place in Pakistan after the November 26 cross-border fire.

"There have been widespread demonstrations and large political rallies condemning drone strikes and Pakistan's ongoing energy crisis.

"These protests are likely to continue. US citizens in Pakistan are strongly urged to avoid protests and large gatherings," it said.

The State Department said presence of al-Qaeda, Taliban elements, and indigenous militant sectarian groups poses a potential danger to US citizens throughout Pakistan.

Terrorists regularly attack civilians, government, and foreign targets, it said.

"Threat reporting indicates terrorist groups continue to seek opportunities to attack locations where US citizens and Westerners are known to congregate or visit, such as shopping areas, hotels, clubs and restaurants, places of worship, schools, and outdoor recreation events," it said.

"Terrorists have disguised themselves as Pakistani security personnel to gain access to targeted areas. Some media reports have falsely identified US diplomats – and to a lesser extent US and other Western journalists and non-governmental organisation workers – as being intelligence operatives or private security personnel," the alert said.