Afghanistan Travel Warning
Issued by US Department of State
Jul 08, 2002
This Travel Warning notes the growing number of attacks against humanitarian
workers in Northern Afghanistan and continued security concerns. The
security threat to all American citizens in Afghanistan remains high. This
Travel Warning supersedes that of February 28, 2002.
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 very limited. Remnants of the
former Taliban regime and the terrorist Al-Qaida network, as well as
criminal elements, 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, landmines, 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. Several humanitarian assistance workers, including
Americans, have been assaulted and/or killed in the last month in the
northern area of Afghanistan. The security environment remains volatile and
unpredictable in Kabul and the countryside. On June 18, an unidentified
group launched rockets within the city, and several rockets landed in the
vicinity of the Embassy. 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 landmines 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 food
shortages. There is little infrastructure, and public services are
extremely limited. Afghan authorities have imposed curfews in some areas.
Due to a growing number of attacks against United Nations (UN) and private
humanitarian workers and non-governmental organizations in the northern
areas of Afghanistan in and around the city of Mazar-e-Sharif, the U.S.
Government warns American citizens, including those with experience in the
area, against traveling to or residing in the Mazar area. Those currently
in the Mazar area should review their security arrangements, contact U.S.
military forces in the region to register their presence, and make
preparations to depart.
The United States Liaison Office in Kabul was officially inaugurated as an
Embassy on January 17, 2002. The Embassy does not provide passport or visa
services. The Embassy's ability to provide emergency consular services to
U.S. citizens in Afghanistan is 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 as well as at the
Embassy in Kabul at the following addresses:
U.S. Embassy Kabul, Great Masood Road between Radio Afghanistan and Ministry
of Public Health Tel 93 (2) 290002, 290005, 290154; INMARSAT telephone 00
873(761)837-927 and fax 00 873 (76)183-7374. Please note phone and fax
communications in Afghanistan continue to be unreliable.
U.S. Embassy Islamabad, Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5, Islamabad, telephone
(92-51) 2080-0000, Consular Section telephone (92-51) 2080-2700, fax (92-51)
U.S. Consulate Peshawar, 11 Hospital Road, Cantonment, Peshawar, telephone
(92-91) 279-801 through 803, fax (92-91) 276-712.