Uzbekistan Public Announcement 0

Issued by US Department of State

Aug 04, 2004

This Public Announcement is being issued to update Americans on recent suicide bombings and attacks in Tashkent. U.S. citizens should evaluate carefully the implications for their security and safety before deciding to travel to or around Uzbekistan. This supersedes the Public Announcement of March 30, 2004 and expires on March 2, 2005.

On July 30, three suicide bombings occurred in Tashkent, including one at the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent. Another bomb exploded at the Israeli Embassy, killing two people, and a third bomb exploded at the Prosecutor General's Office in Tashkent. Although we have no information to suggest that additional attacks will occur, the possibility cannot be discounted at this time. Because of these attacks, we advise all American citizens to be on the highest alert for their safety and security. We also suggest that Americans avoid large crowds and public places where Westerners generally congregate in large numbers.

In late March 2004, multiple explosions also occurred in Tashkent and Bukhara. Suicide bombings were the method of attack at that time, the killings mainly focused at police and Uzbek private and commercial facilities. In late July, approximately 15 people pled guilty in an Uzbekistan court to charges related to the March attacks.

In addition to these events, the U.S. Government received information in early 2004 that terrorists may be planning attacks against hotels in Uzbekistan frequented by Westerners, and against foreign embassies and other organizations, facilities, and institutions associated with or representing foreign interests.

Supporters of extremist groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Al-Qaida, and the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement continue to remain active in the region. These groups have expressed anti-U.S. sentiments and may also attempt to target U.S. Government or private interests in Uzbekistan. Terrorist groups do not distinguish between official and civilian targets. As security is increased at official U.S. facilities, terrorists and their sympathizers seek softer targets. These may include facilities where Americans and other foreigners congregate or visit, such as residential areas, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, hotels, outdoor recreation events, resorts, beaches, maritime facilities, and planes.

The U.S. Embassy in Tashkent continues to employ heightened security precautions. U.S. citizens should report any unusual activity to local authorities and then inform the Embassy.

The Uzbek Government maintains travel restrictions on large parts of the Surkhandarya oblast (administrative region) bordering Afghanistan, including the border city of Termez. Foreign citizens intending to travel to this region must obtain a special permission card from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Internal Affairs or Uzbek embassies and consulates abroad.

Americans traveling to or remaining in Uzbekistan despite this Public Announcement are strongly urged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Uzbekistan. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The U.S. Embassy is located at 82 Chilanzarskaya St., Tashkent, Uzbekistan 700115. The telephone number is 998-71-120-5450. The fax number is 998-71-120-6335.

Travelers should also consult the Department of State's latest Consular Information Sheet for Uzbekistan and Worldwide Caution Public Announcement at http://travel.state.gov. American citizens may also obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States or Canada, and 317-472-2328 from overseas.

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