Extremist groups are active in India and terror groups in South Asia may be planning attacks in the region, the United States has warned in an updated “worldwide caution” for its citizens.
The warning came on a day President Donald Trump issued a new order temporarily barring citizens of six Muslim-majority countries from entering the US but exempted those with valid visas.
“A number of established terrorist organisations, indigenous sectarian groups, and other militants pose a danger to US citizens in Pakistan,” the US state department said in the worldwide caution that was updated on Monday.
“Extremist elements are also active in India, as outlined in a recent emergency message. Terrorists have hit a wide variety of targets and institutions in Bangladesh,” the document said without mentioning any group.
President Trump signed the new travel ban in the White House but without the fanfare, photo-ops and remarks that accompanied the earlier order, which was mired in controversy from the minute it rolled out on January 27.
The new order is limited in scope and nature. It applies to six countries and excludes Iraq, which was dropped under pressure from Baghdad and the US departments of defence and state, which argued that the country is a crucial ally in the fight against Islamic State.
In its worldwide caution, the state department said the government “assesses terrorist groups in South Asia may be planning attacks in the region”, possibly against US facilities, citizens and interests.
“US citizens should avoid travel to Afghanistan, as no region in the country is immune from violence,” it said.
The worldwide caution also included separate travel warnings for Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
The updated version, which replaced a worldwide caution issued last September, was based on new information about the threat of terrorist actions, political violence and criminal activity against US citizens and interests abroad.