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Afghanistan Travel Warning

Issued by US Department of State

Apr 02, 2003

This Travel Warning provides updated information on the security situation in the country and continues to emphasize the Embassys limited capability to provide consular services. The security threat to all American citizens in Afghanistan remains high. This Travel Warning supersedes that of December 27, 2002.

The Department of State strongly warns U.S. citizens against travel to Afghanistan. The ability of Afghan authorities to maintain order and ensure security is limited. Remnants of the former Taliban regime and the terrorist Al-Qaida network, and other groups hostile to the government, as well as criminal elements, remain active. U.S.-led military operations continue. Travel in all areas of Afghanistan, including the capital Kabul, is unsafe due to military operations, landmines, banditry, armed rivalry among political and tribal groups, and the possibility of terrorist attacks, including attacks using vehicular or other bombs. The security environment remains volatile and unpredictable. There have been a number of attacks on foreign interests and nationals. Over the past year there have been several unsuccessful rocket attacks in Kabul and elsewhere in Afghanistan. On March 30, 2003, a rocket landed at the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) compound, which is located across the street from the U.S. Embassy. On March 29, 2003, two U.S. soldiers were ambushed and killed in the southern Helmand Province. On March 27, 2003, an international aid worker was pulled from his vehicle and killed in Uruzgan Province, resulting in the curtailment of some assistance activities in the region. On December 19, 2002, a grenade thrown at an ISAF military installation killed one Afghan and injured two international aid workers. On December 17, 2002, a grenade attack injured two U.S. soldiers in central Kabul. On September 5, 2002, a car bomb was detonated in downtown Kabul, killing more than 30 Afghans. Several United Nations and private humanitarian workers, including Americans, were assaulted in June 2002 in the northern areas of Afghanistan in and around the city of Mazar-e-Sharif. As a result of these attacks, the U.S. Government warns American citizens, including those familiar with Mazar-e-Sharif, against traveling to or residing in the area.

From time to time, the U.S. Embassy places areas frequented by foreigners off limits to its personnel depending on current security conditions. Private U.S. citizens are strongly urged to heed these restrictions as well and may obtain the latest information by calling the U.S. Embassy in Kabul or consulting the Embassy website below. As stated in the current Worldwide Caution, terrorist actions may include, but are not limited to, suicide operations, bombings, assaults or kidnappings. Possible threats include conventional weapons such as explosive devises or non-conventional weapons, including chemical or biological agents.

The U.S. Embassy cannot provide passport or visa services, and its ability to provide emergency consular services to U.S. citizens in Afghanistan is limited. Afghan authorities also can provide only limited assistance to U.S. citizens facing difficulties.

U.S. citizens who choose to visit or remain in Afghanistan despite this Warning are urged to pay close attention to their personal security, should avoid rallies and demonstrations, and should register with and obtain updated security information from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. The U.S. Embassy is located at Great Masood Road between Radio Afghanistan and the Ministry of Public Health (the road is also known as Bebe Mahro (Airport) Road), Kabul. Phone numbers are: (93-2) 290002, 290005, 290154; INMARSAT line, tel. 00 [872](76)837-927; fax 00[873](76)183-7374. The Embassy website is http://usembassy.state.gov.

Updated information on travel and security in Afghanistan may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States or 1-317-472-2328 from overseas. For additional information, consult the Department of States Consular Information Sheet for Afghanistan and the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, on the Departments internet website at http://travel.state.gov.

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