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US Issues General Travel Alert

Members of the public stand behind a note that can be seen amongst floral tributes that have been placed near the cafe where hostages were held for over 16-hours, in central Sydney December 16, 2014. Heavily armed Australian police stormed a Sydney cafe e

The U.S. State Department has issued a travel alert for Americans traveling abroad.

A news release issued Friday said the recent deadly hostage incident in Australia "is a reminder that U.S. citizens should be extra cautious" concerning their personal security.

The State Department said an analysis of past attacks "suggests a focus by terrorists not only on the targeting of U.S. government facilities but also on hotels, shopping areas, places of worship and schools," especially during this holiday season.

The travel alert expires next March 19.