Security threat to Americans remains critical in Afghanistan
“Travel in all areas of Afghanistan is unsafe due to military combat operations, landmines, banditry, armed rivalry between political and tribal groups, and the possibility of terrorist attacks, including attacks using vehicular or other improvised explosive devices (IEDs),” the State Department said in a travel advisory.
It warned that there was a threat to kidnap and assassinate US citizens and staff of non-governmental organisations, and that Afghan authorities had a limited ability to maintain order and ensure security of citizens and foreign visitors.
The warning comes after the Taliban admitted to holding a Canadian citizen, who Ottawa insists is a tourist but the insurgents say is a spy.
Colin Rutherford was seized in the provincial capital of southern Ghazni province two months ago. The Taliban have offered to negotiate a prisoner swap: Rutherford for several of their detained comrades. There has been no reaction from the Canadian, NATO or Afghan authorities to the offer.
Ghazni is one of Afghanistan’s more volatile provinces where the Taliban are in control of more than half of the districts there. But there have also been attacks on foreign targets in the capital, Kabul, including a supermarket that stocked western brands and a hotel complex often used by aid agencies for conferences.
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