News Watch

The Department of State continues to strongly urge that Americans defer travel to Lebanon.

Groups such as Al-Qaeda and Jund al-Sham are present, and concerns remain about the threat of terrorist attacks against Western and Lebanese government interests in Lebanon. There have been several assassinations of military and political figures in Lebanon within the past year.

Land mines and unexploded ordnance pose significant dangers throughout southern Lebanon.

Since 1979, the United States has designated Syria a State Sponsor of Terrorism due to its support for organizations such as Hizbollah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. In addition, other extremist groups are present that oppose U.S. policies.

These groups have the potential to be either the targets of or perpetrators of acts of violence. On Feb. 12, 2008, an explosion in the residential Kafer Soseh neighborhood of Damascus killed Imad Moughniyeh, a senior Hizbollah operative....


The Department of State recommends that American citizens defer nonessential travel to Yemen. Nonemergency American employees of the U.S. Embassy were ordered to depart following the April 6, 2008, attack on the Hadda residential compound in Sanaa in which three explosive rounds were fired into the compound. A mortar attack on the embassy on March 18 injured several Yemeni citizens in the vicinity.

At press time, Zimbabweans were still awaiting the results of the March 29 presidential elections. Security forces as well as war veterans were creating a climate of intimidation and fear across the country. There were attacks on opposition supporters, renewed farm invasions and arrests of election officials.

Travelers should note that using still, video or telephone cameras in any urban setting or in the vicinity of any political activity could be construed by authorities as...


The Department of State continues to caution against traveling to Burundi.

Burundi was plagued by a civil war from 1993 to 2006 that often involved nongovernment, noncombatant targets. In September 2006, the government and the last remaining holdout rebel group from the peace process, the Palipehutu-FNL, signed a cease-fire agreement, but many of the cease-fire provisions have not been implemented and the rebels still retain the capability to conduct indirect fire attacks on the...


As ITN went to press, the State Department had travel warnings on 28 destinations: Burundi, Lebanon, Syria, Haiti, Yemen, Eritrea, Algeria, Chad, Central African Republic, Kenya, Israel/West Bank/Gaza, Sudan, Nepal, Timor-Leste, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Côte d’Ivoire, Somalia, Nigeria, Uzbekistan, Indonesia, Pakistan and Iraq.

For details, call the State Department at 202/647-5225 or visit http://travel.state....


On March 14, 2008, violence erupted following peaceful demonstrations in the city of Lhasa, capital of China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. Scattered violence continued in Lhasa, and protests, some of them resulting in violence, were reported in parts of Sichuan, Gansu, Qinghai and Yunnan provinces.

At press time, there was a significantly increased security presence in many Tibetan areas of China, including Tibetan communities outside of the Tibetan Autonomous Region. Chinese authorities...


In Kenya, threats of political demonstrations and violence have dramatically receded following the widely accepted power-sharing agreement signed on Feb. 28, 2008, and ratified by parliament on March 18. The U.S. Department of State has rescinded the authorized departure order for Kisumu and environs, and U.S. government personnel and families are able to return there.

Kenya has a high rate of violent crime and remains potentially susceptible to attacks from terrorists in the region....