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Afghanistan Travel Warning

Issued by U.S. State Department

Dec 12, 2000

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against travel to Afghanistan. We continue to receive threats from terrorists, including Usama bin Laden, who is based in Afghanistan, that do not distinguish between American government and civilian targets. U.S. citizens who are in Afghanistan or considering traveling there should be aware that the U.S. Government reserves the right to retaliate against the facilities of those who harbor terrorists, as well as the terrorists themselves. The Department of State urges Americans who decide to remain in Afghanistan in spite of this warning to exercise extreme caution, monitor their security situation closely and make plans for responding to a sudden deterioration in security conditions.

All U.S. personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul were evacuated in 1989, and no other diplomatic mission represents U.S. interests or provides consular services.

President Clinton signed an Executive Order imposing financial and commercial sanctions against the Taliban in Afghanistan, a faction that currently exercises de facto control over much of the country, for their support of Usama bin Ladin and his terrorist network. On December 7, 2000, the United States and Russia introduced a new sanctions resolution against the Taliban for their refusal to comply with earlier (1999) United Nations Security Council Resolution 1267, demanding that Taliban authorities turn indicted terrorist Usama bin Laden over to a country where he can be brought to justice. The Taliban have criticized this action and have threatened to close UN non-humanitarian offices. The increased tensions created by the Taliban reactions to proposed new sanctions increases the risk of violence against U.S. citizens in Afghanistan.

In addition, frequent military operations continue in various regions of Afghanistan, sometimes involving intense fighting. Americans remain vulnerable to politically and criminally motivated attacks and violence, including robbery, detention and physical and/or mental harassment. The estimated 5-7 million landmines scattered throughout the countryside pose a danger to all residents and visitors to Afghanistan.

For further information, consult the latest Consular Information Sheet for Afghanistan, available via the Internet at travel.state.gov, via autofax at (202) 647-3000, and via telephone recording at (202) 647-5225.

This replaces the Department of State Travel Warning for Afghanistan issued July 8, 1999 to include additional information concerning potential danger to Americans who travel to Afghanistan, including the likelihood of increased violence in reaction to newly introduced UN sanctions regarding the Taliban.

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