News Watch

The US Department of State posts up-to-date travel advisories on every country and many territories, ranking each 1 (Exercise Normal Precautions), 2 (Exercise Increased Caution), 3 (Reconsider Travel) or 4 (Do Not Travel). Note: A country’s regions are also ranked and may have different rankings than the country as a whole. Visit and click on “Travel Advisories” at the top of the page.


On Oct. 3 in Kabul, Afghanistan, a mosque holding prayers for Taliban officials was bombed. Three people were killed, and multiple injuries were reported. The Islamist militant group Daesh (ISIL) was blamed for the attack.

On Oct. 8 in the city of Kunduz, a suicide bombing in a Shia mosque with over 300 worshippers killed at least 50 people and injured more than 100. Daesh was again blamed.

Daesh, a Sunni Muslim sect**, is opposed to the Taliban, who are Shia. Shortly after the...


Two bombs attached to a military transport bus exploded in Damascus, Syria, on Oct. 20, killing 14 people. It was the deadliest attack in the city since 2017. No group claimed responsibility for the bomb, but Daesh (ISIL) is suspected.

Despite Syrian forces being in control of much of the country, Syria is still engaged in a civil war that began in 2011. After the bombing, the Syrian military began an artillery barrage of the town of Ariha, in northwestern Idlib province, one of the...


Ethiopian and allied troops began an offensive into the Tigray region of Ethiopia in early October, attacking Tigrayan rebel positions in an ongoing civil war and causing what a Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) spokesperson described as “staggering casualties.”

The conflict began Nov. 3, 2020, when the TPLF, a political-military group that was very powerful during Ethiopia’s single-party government system, attacked Ethiopian National Defense Force bases...


Sudan’s military dissolved the country’s civilian government in a coup and arrested multiple elected leaders on Oct. 25 after months of infighting and protests.

Pro-government protests were ongoing at press time, with protesters barricading streets and demanding that the civilian government be restored. There were reports that troops fired on groups of protesters, with at least 10 people killed and at least 80 injured.

Sudan’s longtime ruler, Omar al-Bashir,...


Flooding and landslides in late October killed at least 180 people in Nepal and the Indian states of Kerala and Uttarakhand, sweeping away houses, roadways and bridges. Dozens of people were still missing at press time.

In Uttarakhand, where the average total October rainfall is 1.2 inches, more than a foot of rain fell in a 24-hour period.

Flooding across northern China’s Shanxi Province in early October forced more than 1.7 million people to evacuate their homes. The floods swept away houses and caused landslides across the region.

In one incident, a bus carrying 51 people fell into a swollen river, killing three people, with 11 passengers still missing at press time.


An earthquake measuring 5.9 in magnitude occurred in Balochistan Province, Pakistan, on Oct. 6, killing at least 20 people and injuring more than 150. Many of the buildings and homes in the region, most made from mud bricks, collapsed, leaving thousands of people homeless.