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Bangladesh Travel Alert

Issued by US Department of State

Dec 23, 2008

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Bangladesh, and urges caution while traveling during the period before and after the upcoming election on December 29. This Travel Alert expires on January 5, 2009.

On December 17, 2008, the Government of Bangladesh lifted a State of Emergency that had been in place since January 11, 2007. With the December 29 national election approaching, political parties have begun to organize large gatherings and election rallies throughout the country. Large gatherings in Bangladesh, including those organized for campaigning purposes, in the past have erupted in violence. Several newspapers also have reported terrorist threats focused on the elections. With these developments in mind, the U.S. Embassy advises U.S. citizens traveling to or already in Bangladesh to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to review their security awareness.

The security situation in Bangladesh can be fluid, and Americans are urged to check with the U.S. Embassy for the latest information. U.S. citizens are reminded that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can quickly and unexpectedly escalate into violence. American citizens therefore are urged to avoid the areas of demonstrations if possible and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations. U.S. citizens should monitor media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Information regarding demonstrations in Bangladesh can be found on the U.S. Embassy Dhaka’s web site at http://dhaka.usembassy.gov/. The Government of Bangladesh has stated it may suspend cell phone coverage during this period. Landlines, however, should not be affected. The Embassy will remain open during elections.

Visitors to Bangladesh should check with the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka for updated information on the current political situation. The U.S. Embassy is located approximately four miles south of Zia International Airport, and five miles north of downtown in the Diplomatic Enclave, Madani Avenue, Baridhara, Dhaka, telephone (88-02) 885-5500, fax number (88-02) 882-3744. The Consular Section is open for American Citizens Services Sunday through Thursday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. For emergency services and general information during business hours, please call (88-02) 882-3805. For emergency services after hours, please call (88-02) 885-5500 and ask for the duty officer.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly review the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs web site at http://travel.state.gov where the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis_pa_tw_1168.html , including the Worldwide Caution http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_1161.html, can be found. Americans traveling to or living in Bangladesh who are registered at the U.S. Embassy will receive updated security information about Bangladesh via e-mail. All Demonstration Notices and Warden Messages are posted on the Embassy’s web site at http://dhaka.usembassy.gov/. Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada, or for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

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