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US Issues Uzbekistan Travel Warning

The U.S. State Department has warned American citizens in Uzbekistan of the potential for terrorist attacks or localized civil disturbances, and urged them to exercise caution.

In a statement, it said the government is continuing to receive information that shows terrorist groups could be planning attacks against U.S. interests in Uzbekistan.

Among the groups mentioned in the release are the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, al-Qaida, the Islamic Jihad Union, and the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement.

The groups have expressed anti-American sentiments and attacked U.S. government interests, including the U.S. embassy in Tashkent. In the past, these groups also have carried out kidnappings, assassinations, and suicide bombings.

While Uzbek authorities have taken aggressive security measures to prevent such attacks at official facilities, the State Department warned militants could go after easier targets such as residential areas, restaurants and hotels.

American citizens were also warned to avoid border areas with Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.