Wednesday, October 26, 2016 Edition: U.S. & World | Regional

Top Tourist Killing Countries

Here are some of the most dangerous places you should avoid when vacationing. Whether the problem is civil unrest that is caused by a group of people, or perhaps revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests and response from either factions or the governing body, scenarios like these will definitively hinder your ability to enjoy some tourists destination these places have to offer.


1. Afghanistan

In spite of its amazingly beautiful geography, Afghanistan is arguably the most war-torn place on the planet at the moment. There’s a very high threat of terrorist attack. There’s also a high threat of kidnapping. Although Afghanistan is an incredibly beautiful country, it’s not safe for traveling. Travel to all areas of Afghanistan remains unsafe due to the ongoing risk of kidnapping, hostage taking, military combat operations, landmines, banditry, armed rivalry between political and tribal groups, militant attacks, direct and indirect fire, suicide bombings, and insurgent attacks, including attacks using vehicle-borne or other improvised explosive devices (IED). Attacks may also target official Afghan and U.S. government convoys and compounds, foreign embassies, military installations, commercial entities, non-governmental organization (NGO) offices, restaurants, hotels, airports, and educational centers.



2. Pakistan

Pakistan is experiencing a great deal of political unrest, and crime as well as terrorism is rampant. The official stance of the US State Department is that you should avoid all non-essential travel. Kidnappings, suicide bombings, and social unrest abound. Pakistan continues to experience significant terrorist violence, including sectarian attacks.  Throughout Pakistan, foreign and indigenous terrorist groups continue to pose a danger to U.S. citizens. Targeted attacks against government officials, humanitarian and non-governmental organization (NGO) employees, tribal elders, and law enforcement personnel are common.  Evidence suggests that some victims of terrorist activity have been targeted because they are Americans. Terrorists and criminal groups regularly resort to kidnapping for ransom.



3. Sudan

Between the Darfur situation and the political instability, the amazing views of this vast African nation should probably be relegated to your “to do” list at the moment. Over the course of several decades Sudan’s tourism industry has suffered as a result of the civil warfare between its people. Consequently, many governments warn travelers to give Sudan a wide berth when planning their next vacation.

Terrorist groups remain present in Sudan and are intent on harming Westerners and Western interests. Terrorist actions may include suicide operations, bombings, shootings, or kidnappings. The threat of violent crime targeting Westerners, including kidnappings, armed robberies, home invasions, and carjackings is particularly high in the Darfur region.  Travelers should mitigate the risk of becoming a victim of terrorism or violent crime by being vigilant and aware of their surroundings, especially at public gatherings and locations frequented by foreigners. Exercise caution at all times and monitor reliable news sources for information on the local security situation. Follow the advice of local authorities.



4. Somalia

A lack of political stability, persistent bombings, and constant fighting between opposing factions make for a very dangerous vacation spot. Furthermore, there is currently not much in the way of diplomatic representation in Mogadishu. I can’t imagine how locals survive in Somalia. US and UK governments advise against all travel to Somalia. The security situation in Somalia remains unstable and dangerous. Terrorist operatives and armed groups in Somalia continue to attack Somali authorities, the troops from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), and other non-military targets. Kidnapping, bombings, murder, illegal roadblocks, banditry, and other violent incidents are common throughout Somalia, including Somaliland and Puntland. Al-Shabaab remains intent on conducting attacks against popular restaurants, hotels, locations known to be popular with Westerners, and convoys carrying Somali and other government officials.



5. Iraq

All it takes is one look at the news to tell why traveling to Iraq might not be a very good idea. At present it is a veritable no man’s land filled to the brim with violence. There’s a high threat of terrorism and kidnapping. Carjacking by armed thieves can occur even during daylight hours. Travelers in Iraq are at high risk for kidnapping and terrorist violence. Anti-Western sectarian militias may threaten travelers and western companies throughout Iraq. Kidnappings and attacks by improvised explosive devices (IED) occur frequently in many areas of the country, including Baghdad. Methods of attack have included explosively formed penetrators (EFPs), magnetic IEDs placed on vehicles, human and vehicle-borne IEDs, mines placed on or concealed near roads, mortars and rockets, and shootings using various direct fire weapons. Such attacks often take place in public venues such as cafes and markets.



On your next holiday, make sure you don’t end up on a war region by accident. It will spoil your trip and potentially cost your life.


To learn more about recent travel warnings click here.


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