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U.S. government issues another worldwide security caution

The State Department urges seafarers to steer clear of Somalia because of pirates.

Story highlights

  • The State Department urges U.S. citizens across the world to be cautious
  • Yemen, Algeria, Kenya and Somalia are considered particularly dangerous
  • Large events or areas where tourists gather could be targeted for extremist attacks
  • U.S. citizens abroad are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program

The U.S. government issued its latest version of a worldwide safety caution Wednesday to U.S. citizens abroad.

Terrorist groups "continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. interests in multiple regions, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East," a statement by the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs said.

Travelers should be cautious when using public transportation systems, including maritime services like ferries, the statement said.

The Middle East and Africa are the most unpredictable areas, with terrorist groups and pirates attacking recently in Yemen, Algeria, Kenya and Somalia, the statement said.

It listed a number of places that might be targeted, including "high-profile sporting events, residential areas, business offices, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, public areas, and other tourist destinations."

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Maritime authorities recommend Western seafarers stay at least 200 nautical miles off Somalia and avoid the port of Mogadishu, the statement said.

The Department of State "encourages U.S. citizens living overseas or planning to travel abroad to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program," the statement said. Officials use the program to contact enrollees in the event of an emergency. Thursday's announcement replaces one issued in January.

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