The U.S. State Department is warning its citizens in the African nation of Chad to leave and is cautioning Americans against travel in the area.
The State Department released a warning Friday saying it had authorized the voluntary departure of nonemergency government personnel and government personnel dependents. Consequently, it said, the U.S. Embassy in Chad will be able to provide only "limited emergency services" to U.S. citizens in Chad.
The release urged U.S. citizens in Chad to guard against attacks by being cautious at public gathering spaces, including markets, restaurants, bars and places of worship.
The State Department said there were no specific threats made against U.S. citizens in Chad, but it noted that there are violent extremist organizations in the region, such as Boko Haram and al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, that are "intent on harming Westerners and Western interests and are able to cross borders easily." It said kidnapping for ransom is a potential threat in the region.
The statement said the U.S. government could choose to impose further restrictions on government personnel, such as curfews. It advised private U.S. citizens to take similar precautions.