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US State Department Issues Updated Travel Warning for Colombia

The U.S. State Department has renewed a warning to U.S. citizens about the dangers of traveling in Colombia.

The department issued an updated travel warning for Colombia Friday. It said there is potential for violence by terrorists and other criminals in all parts of the South American country.

According to the travel warning, violence has decreased in many urban areas, but small towns and rural areas can still be extremely dangerous.

The State Department also said kidnapping in Colombia has decreased from its peak at the beginning of the decade. However, it said groups such as the FARC and the ELN, which are classified as terrorist groups by the United States, continue to kidnap civilians for ransom and political bargaining power.

On July 2, the government of Colombia rescued 15 hostages who had been held for more than five years. Three of the hostages were Americans.