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Travel Advisory

Attack Provokes Old City Violence

June 25, 1995|EDWARD WRIGHT | Wright is a former assistant foreign editor at The Times. His column appears monthly.

Middle East

Israel and the Territories: A knife attack in the walled Old City of East Jerusalem led to wider violence early this month, the Reuters news service reported. A Jewish security guard was stabbed in the back by an Arab attacker, and that night several Jews smashed Arab-owned shops and cars in the Old City. In another incident, seven Arabs were arrested during a clash that broke out when Palestinians taunted Jews walking to the Western Wall. Meanwhile, a spokesman for the terrorist group Hamas warned that if the United States transfers its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as proposed by Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.), "It would fill the Arab and Muslim people with hatred and anger, and they would react by hitting American interests in the region."

Africa

Nigeria: Citing violence, fraud and shakedowns, the State Department this month warned Americans against traveling to Nigeria. "Violent crime, practiced by persons in police and military uniforms as well as by ordinary criminals, is an acute problem," the department said. "Harassment and shakedowns of foreigners" by uniformed personnel and others are frequent. According to Reuters, the West African nation has a reputation for a kind of fraud in which foreigners are enticed to part with large sums of money for goods, such as oil cargoes, which turn out to be nonexistent. Nigeria's Central Bank recently warned foreigners to beware of business deals that sound too good to be true.

Asia

Pakistan: The U.S. government stepped up security precautions for Americans in Karachi, ordering the departure of all school-age consular dependents in the metropolitan area and urging American businesses there to tighten their own security. The moves were in response to politically motivated killings in Pakistan's largest city, including those of two Americans on March 8. "The law and order situation remains fragile," the U.S. Consulate said, and the Karachi police are "ineffective." Travelers are urged to use airport shuttles rather than taxis or hotel-provided vans. According to Reuters, about 800 people were killed in sectarian and ethnic violence in Karachi last year and more than 700 so far this year.

Briefly . . .

Russia: Two Muscovites have been hospitalized with cholera, and cholera bacteria were found in the Moscow River, Times correspondent Sonni Efron reported that most previous cases of the highly infectious disease had been brought into the capital but that these appeared home-grown.

Germany: Amnesty International has reported finding a clear pattern of police mistreatment of foreigners and ethnic minorities over the last three years throughout the country. The organization told Reuters it received more than 70 complaints of excessive force or degrading treatment, some of it described as racially motivated.

Philippines: The Federal Aviation Administration warns that it will cancel the Philippines' flying rights into the United States unless security at Manila airport is tightened by August, Reuters reported.

Morocco: An American missionary couple and their six children were arrested and held for a day after they marched down Casablanca's main boulevard carrying a cross and distributing Christian leaflets, Reuters said. Preaching any religion other than Islam is a crime in Morocco.

Hot Spots: State Department travel warnings are in effect for Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Burundi, Colombia, Croatia, Guatemala, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Nigeria, North Korea, Peru, Rwanda, Serbia and Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan and Tajikistan.

The U.S. State Department offers recorded travel warnings and advisories at (202) 647-5225; the fax line is (202) 647-3000.

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