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US Issues Travel Warning for DR Congo

The United States government has repeated its travel warning for parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The warning issued Wednesday advises against non-essential travel to eastern and northeastern parts of the central African country, where it says armed groups kill, rape and pillage and carry out military operations in which civilians are indiscriminately targeted.

It says government troops as well as rebel fighters are a security concern in these areas.

The State Department says there is continued instability in North and South Kivu provinces and surrounding areas, and unexpected flare-ups of violence are possible in other parts of the country.

It mentions two separate incidents in April of armed militia groups kidnapping foreigners. And it says a group controlling its own territory in South Kivu province kidnapped eight International Red Cross workers.

The State Department also warns of risks to U.S. travelers posed by deadly viruses and diseases.

The warning states that capital Kinshasa remains riddled with crime, and that U.S. citizens have been victims of serious crimes, including armed robbery by groups posing as law enforcement.

The Wednesday travel warning replaces an earlier one issued in April.