Be Careful When Visiting These Countries
PHOTO: Kabul, Afghanistan, remains a dangerous place to visit according to the U.S. State Department. (Photo courtesy Wikimedia)
From drug trafficking to terrorist attacks, there are many places that are deemed too dangerous for American tourists and a special report from 24/7 Wall St. on the Huffington Post can help readers figure out why.
“The State Department issues travel warnings in order to alert Americans of potential dangers and urge them to consider not traveling to certain countries at all,” writes 24/7 Wall St in a special report.
While many countries receive warnings, they vary in their severity says 24/7 Wall St.
“For example, the State Department expressly urges Americans not to visit Yemen and has recommended Americans currently in the country to depart immediately. By contrast, Mexico has a standing travel warning due to drug trafficking violence and kidnappings for ransom, but tourist destinations in areas such as the Yucatan Peninsula are largely spared from these dangers. Mexico attracts millions of American visitors each year,” 24/7 Wall St. points out.
Not surprisingly, Afghanistan is on the list of countries U.S. travelers shouldn’t add to their bucket lists.
“Extremist groups, including ISIS and the Taliban, are active throughout the country. U.S. and coalition forces have been fighting al-Qaeda and Taliban forces in Afghanistan since 2001. Traveling to any part of the country may be unsafe due to the ongoing violence,” says 24/7 Wall St.
Bangladesh is another place where tourists should think twice before visiting.
“Following a deadly terrorist attack at a restaurant popular with foreigners in July 2016, the U.S. State Department took steps to evacuate the families of embassy workers from the country. As the terror threat in the country remains, U.S. government officials there are currently prohibited from traveling on foot or in open air vehicles, attending large gatherings, or visiting public places,” notes 24/7 Wall St.
While these countries, along with Iraq, Lebanon and Libya — known for terrorist activity and unrest at the moment — are on the list, there are some countries popular with Americans that also have travel warnings.
You would hardly know it from googling travel to Colombia, but there is a U.S. State Department warning for the country warning Americans of the dangers of drug trafficking. A peace deal was nearly reached recently between the Farc and the Colombian government, which may have taken the country off of the list, but voters rejected it.
Another country that is on the watch list but that is popular with Americans is Israel.
“The security situation in the contested regions of Israel — particularly the West Bank and the Gaza Strip — is complex and unpredictable. Hamas, the terrorist organization in control of Gaza, reached a ceasefire with Israel in 2014. However, violent attacks that often lead to collateral damage still occur with some regularity,” writes 24/7 Wall St.
Turkey is also on the list, these days. Once a popular locale for American travelers, the destination has been marred by a recent coup attempt as well as violence from terrorist groups.
“The country is currently in a state of emergency, and the State Department advises U.S. citizens to only stay at hotels that are taking active security measures and to avoid large crowds, particularly those that are popular tourist destinations,” says 24/7 Wall St.
For more information on U.S. State Department travel warnings and a list of countries not to visit, read the full report here.
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