US State Department Renews Algeria Travel Warning

The US Department of State has renewed its caution to travelers heading to Algeria due to the threat of terrorist attacks and kidnappings.

“While violence has reduced significantly in recent years, terrorist groups remain active in some parts of the country,” the Department said on its website.

Despite heavy police presence in major cities, “the possibility of terrorist acts in urban areas cannot be excluded,” the State Department said, recalling that extremists have conducted attacks in the mountains east of Algiers in the provinces of Blida, Boumerdes, Tizi Ouzou, Bouira, Bejaia and Constantine.

The Department also warns of all travel to Algeria’s southern and eastern border regions, including Tebessa and the Chaambi mountains area, south of Souk Ahras, near the Tunisian border.

The Department of State stressed that US travelers should avoid traveling within 50 kilometers of the eastern borders and within 450 kilometers of the southern border as well as overland travel across the Sahara.

The insecurity prevailing in Algeria is dissuading many tourists from visiting the country. The Algerian government imposes visa on western citizens and foreigners including diplomats who are required to inform Algerian authorities when traveling from a Wilaya to another in order to provide them with security escort.

In September 2014, an ISIL-affiliated group abducted and killed a French citizen in the Kabylie region. In January 2013, an Al-Qaeda-linked organization attacked a gas production facility in In Amenas, near the Libyan border, holding foreign and Algerian workers hostage. Dozens, including three U.S. citizens, were killed in the operation.

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