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US govt issues S Africa travel alert for FIFA WC

In what will come as a major jolt for the organizers of the FIFA World Cup, the US state department has issued a travel alert to its citizens living in South Africa and other Americans who plan to travel for the tournament, citing security fears.

sports Updated: May 28, 2010 12:30 IST

The US State Department has issued a travel alert to US citizens living in South Africa or traveling there for the World Cup due to the risk of terrorism and crime.

"There is a heightened risk that extremist groups will conduct terrorist acts within South Africa in the near
future," the department said in an alert Thursday.

"While a number of terrorist threats against the World Cup in South Africa have appeared in the media in recent weeks
and months, the U.S. government has no information on any specific, credible threat of attack that any individual or
group is planning to coincide with the tournament," it added.

The State Department said it would make any information public on "a specific and credible threat." US citizens were advised to keep car doors and windows locked while driving and not to leave valuables in plain view or to wear expensive jewelry.

The alert said public transportation in South Africa is "poorly developed" and advised using rental cars or private transport instead, and when stopping at intersections at night or in isolated areas, it suggested leaving room for a "quick exit."

First Published: May 28, 2010 12:09 IST