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Bahrain Travel Warning

Issued by US Department of State

Apr 25, 2012

The U.S. Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the potential for unrest in Bahrain. This Travel Alert supersedes the Travel Alert dated January 23, 2012, and expires on June 30, 2012. It updates information about spontaneous and at times violent demonstrations. 

All travelers to Bahrain face increased scrutiny from Bahraini authorities, and the Government of Bahrain has refused to allow some U.S. citizens permission to enter Bahrain. The airport remains open and operational. 

Spontaneous and at times violent anti-government demonstrations occur in some neighborhoods, particularly at night and on weekends. These demonstrations have included blockades of major highways with burning debris and establishment of unofficial checkpoints. Participants have thrown rocks and Molotov cocktails and used various other homemade weapons to include isolated use of crude improvised explosive devices. The Ministry of Interior maintains official checkpoints in some areas and routinely uses tear gas and stun grenades along with birdshot and other crowd control measures against demonstrators. Violent clashes between security forces and demonstrators can make travel in and around Bahrain dangerous without advance warning. 

There have been no direct attacks on U.S. citizens; however, isolated instances of Westerners and U.S. citizens getting caught in the middle of clashes have occurred and there have been examples of anti-U.S. sentiment seen on the streets, with U.S. flags occasionally being burned during demonstrations.  U.S. citizens are urged to remain alert to local security developments and to be vigilant regarding their personal security by knowing the locations of police and fire stations, hospitals, and the U.S. Embassy. The Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid all demonstrations, as even peaceful ones can quickly become unruly, and a foreigner could become a target of harassment or worse. If you are in immediate danger, call the police at 999.  

The U.S. Embassy restricts its employees from traveling to specific areas and advises all U.S. citizens to do the same. We continue to urge U.S. citizens to stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Please check our Demonstration Notices for information on demonstrations, security guidance, and a map outlining areas that are off-limits to Embassy U.S. citizen employees and their family members. 

The U.S. Embassy in Manama can be reached at (973) 1724-2700; the after-hours emergency number is (973) 1724-2957; the fax number is (973) 1725-6242. The U.S. Embassy in Manama is located at Building No. 979, Road 3119, Block 331 Zinj District, Manama.  

The U.S. Embassy is open for all routine American Citizens Services by appointment via our website, bahrain.usembassy.gov. U.S. citizens with routine inquiries can write to U.S. citizens needing emergency assistance do not need an appointment, but should alert the American Citizens Services Unit by e-mail or calling the Embassy directly.

U.S. citizens in Bahrain are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). If you enroll we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements and can also help your family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency. U.S. citizens without Internet access may enroll in person at the U.S. Embassy.

Updated information on travel and security in Bahrain may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, on 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). For further information, please consult the Country Specific Information for Bahrain, as well as the Worldwide Caution. You can also stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which also contains current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.

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