News Watch

In Cairo, Egypt, a bomb exploded on Hussein Square near the Hussein mosque and adjacent to the Khan el-Kahlili bazaar, crowded with tourists and Egyptians, on Feb. 29. The 17-year-old girl who was killed and many of the more than 40 people who were injured were French students on a tour.

A second, unexploded bomb was found and defused safely. At press time, no group had claimed responsibility.

Tamil Tiger rebels used two light aircraft to bomb Sri Lanka’s capital city of Colombo on Feb. 20. They struck the main tax office, the central bank and air force headquarters, and 42 people were injured. The Sri Lankan Defense Department said one of the aircraft was destroyed.

Meanwhile, in the northeastern part of the country, thousands of civilians were trapped between the warring forces, and the Red Cross was warning of catastrophe as tens of thousands were without adequate food,...


The State Department warns travelers to the Philippines to exercise extreme caution in the islands of the Sulu Archipelago as well as in the central and western portions of the island of Mindanao (specifically, the provinces of North Cotabato, Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte).

Regional terrorist groups have carried out bombings, resulting in injuries and death. And since August 2008 there have been sporadic clashes between lawless groups and the Philippine Armed Forces in Mindanao....


The State Department warns that the security threat level in the Arabian Peninsula and Persian Gulf region remains high, with continued threats to the US Embassy in Sana’a, Yemen, where a terrorist attack on Sept. 17, 2008, killed several security personnel and innocent bystanders. Credible information indicates that al-Qaida and affiliated organizations continue to plan attacks against US interests in the region.

The State department has alerted travelers of safety and security concerns in Madagascar due to demonstrations stemming from a political rift between supporters of the mayor of the capital city of Antananarivo and the government of Madagascar.

In January, Madagascar was experiencing escalating political demonstrations, including violent clashes between government forces and supporters of the Antananarivo mayor plus looting and burning of residences and businesses.

The Department of State warns travelers to Georgia not to go to the separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and to be aware of the potential for gunfire, violence and increased risk of crime in the region.

The US Embassy in Tbilisi has limited travel for its employees in areas adjacent to South Ossetia, to include all roads north of the M-1 (East/West Highway) that lead to the region of South Ossetia; areas adjacent to Abkhazia, including the Tsalenjikha district of the...


Anticipating possible demonstrations, China detained scores of locals, questioned thousands more and closed many regions of Tibet to tourism prior to March 10, 2009, the 50-year anniversary of the Tibetan uprising when the Dali Lama was forced to flee.

Tourist agencies were contacted by Chinese officials and told that no permits would be issued for Tibet nor for three surrounding provinces where ethnic Tibetans live. The closure extended throughout March and would possibly continue...


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

For details, call the State Department at 202/647-5225 or visit