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Friday, Dec 13, 2019

US issues travel warning to its citizens heading to South Asia

The advisory calls for Americans to avoid Afghanistan and certain parts of Bangladesh and Pakistan.

world Updated: Mar 08, 2017 01:07 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
There is no travel warning for India but the US has mentioned the presence of “active” extremists in the country.
There is no travel warning for India but the US has mentioned the presence of “active” extremists in the country. (HT File)

In a world-wide travel advisory to its citizens, the United States has told those headed for South Asia to avoid Afghanistan altogether, avoid certain parts of Pakistan and Bangladesh, and mentioned “active” extremists in India.

The advisory replaced and updated one issued in September 2016 and with travel warnings already in effect for 41 countries — 16 in Africa, 2 in East Asia and Pacific region, 2 in Europe, 12 in Middle East and North Africa, 3 in South and Central Asia, and 6 in the Western Hemisphere.

“As terrorist attacks, political upheaval, and violence often take place without any warning, US citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness when traveling,” it said.

There is no travel warning for India. It found mention in the advisory among countries the state department would want Americans to be generally aware of the situation — Canada, for instance, was mentioned in the context of “insurgent groups, armed criminal gangs, and terrorists remain active” in the Western Hemisphere.

In South Asia, the advisory said, travel warnings are in effect for Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. “The US 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. A number of established terrorist organisations, indigenous sectarian groups, and other militants pose a danger to US citizens in Pakistan. Extremist elements are also active in India, as outlined in a recent emergency message. Terrorists have hit a wide variety of targets in Bangladesh.”