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'Worldwide caution' for the American traveller

August 13, 2010 08:25 IST

Asking its nationals to take all security precautions and remain alert, United States has said it has credible evidence that terrorist groups are seeking to continue attack on its citizens and interests world over in particular the Middle East and North Africa.

In a 'Worldwide Caution' issued on Thursday, the State Department said that it continues to receive information that terrorist groups in South and Central Asia, including Pakistan and India, may be planning attacks in the region, possibly against US government facilities, US citizens, or US interests.

"In India there is a continuing threat of terrorism as attacks have randomly targeted public places frequented by Westerners, including luxury and other hotels, trains, train stations, markets, cinemas, mosques, and restaurants in large urban areas," the State Department said.

The presence of Al Qaeda, Taliban elements, Lashkar-e-Tayiba, indigenous sectarian groups, and other terror organisations, many of which are on the US government's list of foreign terror organisations, poses a potential danger to US citizens in the region, it said.

Terrorists and their sympathisers have demonstrated their willingness and capability to attack targets where Americans or Westerners are known to congregate or visit, the statement said.

Their actions may include, but are not limited to, vehicle-born explosives, improvised explosive devices, assassinations, carjacking, rocket attacks, assaults, or kidnappings, it added.

"Some examples include Pakistan where a number of extremist groups continue to target US citizens and other Western interests and Pakistani officials. Suicide bombing attacks continue to occur throughout the country on a regular basis, often targeting government authorities such as police checkpoints and military installations, as well as public areas such as mosques, and shopping areas," it said.

The State Department said credible information indicates terrorist groups seek to continue attacks against US interests in the Middle East and North Africa.

It also said that a number of Al Qaeda operatives and other extremists are believed to be operating in and around Africa.

"US citizens considering travel by sea near the Horn of Africa or in the Southern Red Sea should exercise caution as there has been a notable increase in armed attacks, robberies and kidnappings for ransom at sea by pirates," the State Department said.

Lalit K Jha in Washington
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