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Kyrgyz Public Announcement

Issued by US Department of State

Sep 01, 2005

This Public Announcement updates information concerning ongoing security concerns and the potential for terrorist actions in the Kyrgyz Republic. U.S. citizens are advised to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness. This Public Announcement supersedes the Travel Warning dated March 24, 2005 and expires on October 28, 2005.

According to Kyrgyz law enforcement officials, violent crime and crime focused on foreigners has increased since the change in government in March 2005. The recent fighting in Osh between two groups with ties to political and criminal entities and the assassination of a parliamentarian in Bishkek are two recent troubling examples. In late 2004, individuals threw a grenade into a compound in Osh housing a Western-funded NGO. In June 2005, two British citizens were assaulted in two separate incidents, resulting in the death of one of those citizens.

The potential for terrorist activity remains a concern in Central Asia, as supporters of terrorist groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), Al-Qaida, the Islamic Jihad Union, and the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement are active in the region. The U.S. Government continues to receive information that indicates that terrorist groups may be planning future attacks, possibly against U.S. interests in the Kyrgyz Republic or elsewhere. A variety of tactics, including the use of suicide bombers, have been employed by terrorists in neighboring Uzbekistan. As a result, the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek continues to maintain a heightened security posture.

U.S. Embassy personnel continue to observe heightened security precautions at work and in places where Westerners congregate, as well as public places, such as markets and bazaars.

Travel by U.S. Government personnel to areas of the Kyrgyz Republic south and west of Osh continues to be restricted due to the history of IMU activity in the area and the presence of land mines in the Batken Oblast region and along the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border. The U.S. Embassy strongly recommends against travel to these areas.

U.S. citizens are advised to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness, and are urged to register and update their contact information at the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek. The U.S. Embassy in Bishkek is located at 171 Prospect Mira, 720016 Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic. The phone number is 996-312-551-241, fax: 996-312-551-264, and website: http://www.usemb-bishkek.rpo.at. Registration may also be done on line, and can be done in advance of travel. Information on registering on line can be found at the Department of State's Consular Affairs website: https://travelregistration.state.gov.

Updated information on travel and security in the Kyrgyz Republic may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States, or, from overseas, 1-202-501-4444. U.S. citizens should consult the Department of State's Consular Information Sheet for the Kyrgyz Republic, the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, and the travel publication "A Safe Trip Abroad," all of which are available on the Department's Internet site at http://travel.state.gov.

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