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Afghanistan Travel Warning

Issued by US Department of State

Feb 28, 2002

This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning for Afghanistan dated December 17, 2001. It reports the reopening of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, emphasizes the Embassy's severely limited capability to provide consular services, and provides updated information on the security situation in the country. The security threat to all American citizens in Afghanistan remains high.

The Department of State strongly warns U.S. citizens against travel to Afghanistan. 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 remain active in the country. U.S.-led military operations continue. Travel in all areas of Afghanistan, including the capital Kabul, is unsafe due to military operations, land mines, banditry, armed rivalry among political and tribal groups, and the possibility of terrorist attacks. Several foreign journalists have died covering the current situation in Afghanistan, including four murdered near Sarabi in November 2001. As stated in the current Worldwide Caution, the Department of State has received reports that American citizens may be targeted for kidnapping or other terrorist actions.

An estimated 5-7 million land mines and large quantities of unexploded ordnance are scattered throughout the countryside and alongside roads, posing a danger to travelers. Some areas of the country are facing an acute food shortage. There is little infrastructure, and public services are extremely limited. Afghan authorities have imposed curfews in some areas.

The United States Liaison Office in Kabul was officially re-inaugurated as an Embassy on January 17, 2002. The Embassy is located at Bebe Mahro (Airport) Road, Kabul. The Embassy can provide no passport or visa services. The Embassy's ability to provide emergency consular services to U.S. citizens in Afghanistan is severely limited. Embassy officials in Kabul cannot travel outside the capital to provide assistance to Americans. Afghan authorities also can provide only limited assistance to U.S. citizens facing difficulties. The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, will provide most routine consular services to American citizens traveling to Afghanistan.

U.S. citizens who choose to visit or remain in Afghanistan are urged to pay close attention to their personal security and to take those actions they deem appropriate to ensure their well being. Americans in Afghanistan should avoid rallies and demonstrations. All U.S. citizens remaining in Afghanistan or planning travel to the country are strongly urged to register with and obtain updated security information from the American Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, or the U.S. Consulate in Peshawar at the following addresses:

U.S. Embassy Islamabad, Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5, Islamabad, telephone (92-51) 2080-0000, Consular Section telephone (92-51) 2080-2700, fax (92-51) 282-2632;

U.S. Consulate Peshawar, 11 Hospital Road, Cantonment, Peshawar, telephone (92-91) 279-801 through 803, fax (92-91) 276-712.

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