Afghanistan Travel Warning
Issued by US Department of State
Feb 04, 2004
This Travel Warning adds information on the threat to U.S. citizens and
employees of non-governmental organizations, provides updated information on
the security situation in Afghanistan generally, and provides new phone
numbers for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. The security threat to all American
citizens in Afghanistan remains high. This Travel Warning supersedes the
Travel Warning for Afghanistan issued July 28, 2003.
The Department of State strongly warns U.S. citizens against travel to
Afghanistan. There is an ongoing threat to kidnap and assassinate U.S.
citizens and Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) workers throughout the
country. The ability of Afghan authorities to maintain order and ensure the
security of citizens and visitors is limited. Remnants of the former
Taliban regime and the terrorist
Al-Qaida network, and other groups hostile to the government, 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 international organizations,
international aid workers, and foreign interests and nationals, including
the killing of a United Nations High Commission for Refugee (UNHCR) worker
in Ghazni and carbombing in front of the United Nations Assistance Mission
to Afghanistan (UNAMA) compound in Kandahar both in November 2003, and
several attacks in
2002-2004 on International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF), resulting in
deaths and injuries, including two deadly attacks in late January 2004. The
United Nations has temporarily evacuated its international staff from
Kandahar, Jalalabad and Gardez and closed its office in Ghazni. Over the
past year there have been several unsuccessful rocket attacks in Kabul and
elsewhere in Afghanistan, including a rocket landing in a field opposite the
Embassy compound in December 2003, and an explosion in the perimeter wall of
the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul on November 22, 2003.
Family members of official Americans assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Kabul
are not allowed to reside in Afghanistan. In addition, unofficial travel to
Afghanistan by U.S. Government employees and their family members requires
prior approval by the Department of State. 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
The United States 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
Travel Warning are urged to pay close attention to their personal security,
avoid rallies and demonstrations, and to 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 (93-20) 290002/ 290005 fax
(93-20)293-153 and (93-20)230-1364. The Embassy website is
Updated information on travel and security in Afghanistan may be obtained
from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the
United States or Canada, or, from overseas,
1-317-472-2328. For additional information, consult the Department of
State's Consular Information Sheet for Afghanistan and the Worldwide Caution
Public Announcement located at http://travel.state.gov.