Looking for a Relaxing Summer Vacation? Don't Travel Here
LONDON, June 24, 2009
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According to the U.S. state department, Pakistani militants have vowed to increase attacks against both civilians and government targets in Pakistan's cities. Military forces are currently fighting extremists across areas of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and parts of the Northwest Frontier Province, including the Swat Valley.
The presence of Al-Qaeda, Taliban, and other militant groups poses a threat to American citizens throughout Pakistan, especially in the western border regions of the country, according to the state department Web site.
Terrorist groups continue to seek opportunities to attack locations where Americans and Westerners are known to congregate or visit, such as shopping areas, hotels, clubs and restaurants, places of worship, schools, or outdoor recreation events.
"On November 12, 2008, an American government contractor and his driver in Peshawar were shot and killed in their car. In September 2008, over 50 people, including three Americans, were killed and hundreds were injured when a suicide bomber set off a truck filled with explosives outside a major international hotel in Islamabad. In August 2008, gunmen stopped and shot at the vehicle of an American diplomat in Peshawar. In March 2008, a restaurant frequented by Westerners in Islamabad was bombed, killing one patron and seriously injuring several others, including four American diplomats," said the state department Web site.
Mali. Travel warning updated: June 02, 2009
The U.S. state department warns people not to travel to the north of Mali due to kidnapping threats against Westerners.
"Al-Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has declared its intention to attack Western targets. AQIM uses northern Mali as a safe haven and platform from which to conduct operations," said the state department's Web site.
"AQIM kidnapped two Canadian diplomats in Niger in December 2008 and four European tourists along the Mali-Niger border in January 2009. All were believed to be held in northern Mali; the Canadians and two of the Europeans were released in April 2009. The U.S. Embassy's ability to assist American citizens in northern Mali is severely limited."
Chad. Travel warning updated: June 2, 2009
Banditry, current political tensions between Chad and Sudan, and clashes between the government and rebel armies keep Chad on the list of most dangerous places to travel.
Chad achieved independence from France in 1960. Since then it has been relatively unstable with tensions arising from religious conflicts between the mostly Muslim north and Christian south of the country, according to worldtravelguide.net.
"Armed rebel groups are active in the region. Rebel activity tends to increase during the dry season, which lasts from late September to July. Government troops pushed back rebel groups entering Chad from Sudan on May 7, 2009 and subsequently attacked rebel positions inside Sudan, which exacerbated tensions between Chad and Sudan. Chadian rebels continue to operate out of Sudan.
The security situation remains fluid and potentially dangerous. The government of Chad is unable to guarantee the safety of visitors in most parts of the country," said the state department's Web site.