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Uzbekistan Travel Warning

Issued by U.S. State Department

Aug 17, 2001

The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to areas of the Kyrgyz Republic to the south and west of the provincial capital of Osh, and particularly along the Kyrgyz-Tajik and Kyrgyz-Uzbek borders. The security situation in these areas remains fluid, volatile, and dangerous, and there exists a continuing threat of terrorist violence in the southern Kyrgyz Republic and Uzbekistan.

Given this situation, U.S. Government personnel are prohibited from traveling to areas of the Kyrgyz Republic south and west of Osh and in rural areas along the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border. Due to the presence of land mines in the Batken Oblast and along the Kyrgyz-Tajik border, the U.S. Embassy strongly recommends that American citizens avoid all travel to these areas.

In July 2001, Kyrgyz armed forces engaged in a skirmish with armed individuals south of the city of Khaydyrkhan in Batken Oblast. At least two Kyrgyz soldiers were wounded. In August 2000, members of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), a group designated by the Secretary of State as a foreign terrorist organization, crossed the Tajik-Kyrgyz border, engaged Kyrgyz security forces, and took four American climbers hostage. Periodic fighting between Kyrgyz forces and the IMU has resulted in a number of reported Kyrgyz fatalities. In 1999, armed IMU militants from Tajikistan took four Japanese citizens hostage.

Americans traveling to or residing in the Kyrgyz Republic are urged to contact the U.S. Embassy at 996-312-551-241 for updated security information. For further information on travel to the Kyrgyz Republic please consult the Consular Information Sheet for the Kyrgyz Republic at http://travel.state.gov.

This Public Announcement for the Kyrgyz Republic replaces the Public Announcement of March 14, 2001 to update the security situation and expires on December 15, 2001.

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