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Algeria Travel Warning

Issued by U.S. Department of State

Mar 26, 2008

This Travel Warning updates information on the security situation in Algeria.  The threat from terrorism in many areas of the country continues to pose a significant security risk.  The Department of State cautions Americans who reside in or travel to Algeria to take prudent security measures while in the country.  U.S. citizens should avoid overland travel in Algeria without security escort, including tourist excursions in the Sahara.  This supersedes the Travel Warning issued on December 23, 2007.

The Department of State urges U.S. citizens who travel to Algeria to evaluate carefully the risks posed to their personal safety.  Small-scale terrorist attacks including bombings, false roadblocks, kidnappings, ambushes, and assassinations occur regularly.  Since early 2007, use of vehicle-borne suicide bomb attacks has emerged as a terrorist tactic in Algeria, including in the capital. Suicide car bomb attacks in December 2007 targeted the UN headquarters and the Algerian Constitutional Council in Algiers.  The attacks occurred in residential areas where many diplomatic missions are located. The group that claimed credit for the December 11 attacks has pledged more attacks against foreign targets, and specifically American targets.

The U.S. Government considers the potential threat to U.S. Embassy personnel assigned to Algiers sufficiently serious to require them to live and work under significant security restrictions.  These practices limit, and may occasionally prevent, the movement of U.S. Embassy officials in certain areas of the country.  The Government of Algeria requires U.S. Embassy personnel to seek permission to travel to the Casbah within Algiers or outside the province of Algiers and to have a security escort. Travel to the military zone established around the Hassi Messaoud oil center requires Government of Algeria authorization. Daily movement of Embassy personnel in Algiers is limited, and prudent security practices are required at all times.  Travel by personnel to areas of the city outside the center requires prior coordination with the Embassy's Regional Security Office.  American visitors are encouraged to contact the Embassy's Consular Section for the most recent safety and security information concerning travel in the city of Algiers.

The Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens avoid overland travel in Algeria without security escort, including tourism excursions in the Sahara.  The Department of State cautions Americans who reside or travel in Algeria to take prudent security measures while in the country, including making provisions for reliable and experienced logistical support.  Visitors to Algeria are advised to stay only in hotels where adequate security is provided. All visitors to Algeria should remain alert and adhere to prudent security practices such as avoiding predictable travel patterns and maintaining a low profile.

Americans living or traveling in Algeria are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration web site, https://travelregistration.state.gov, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Algeria. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. The U.S. Embassy is located at 5 Chemin Cheikh Bachir El-Ibrahimi, B.P. 408 (Alger-gare) 16000, in the capital city of Algiers. The telephone number is [213] 770 08 20 00, which can also be reached after hours. The fax number is [213] 21 9822 99.  

Updated information on travel and security in Algeria may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  For further information, please consult the Country Specific Information for Algeria and the Worldwide Caution, which are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website at http://travel.state.gov.

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