US Issues Travel Warnings, Trims Embassy Staff In Sudan, Tunisia

 @JJMcGrath3000j.mcgrath@ibtimes.com
on September 15 2012 11:08 PM

With American assets having been targeted during demonstrations sweeping the Middle East-North Africa region in recent days, the U.S. State Department issued travel warnings about Sudan and Tunisia on Saturday.

"The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Sudan, urges U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to the Darfur region of Sudan, the Blue Nile, and Southern Kordofan states, and advises you to consider carefully the risks of travel in other areas of Sudan," the State Department said.

It also noted it had ordered the departure of all dependents of U.S. direct-hire personnel and all nonemergency U.S. government personnel from Sudan, following the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum on Friday.

In addition, "[t]he Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all travel to Tunisia at this time," the State Department said.

It also pointed out it had ordered the departure of all nonemergency U.S. government personnel from Tunisia, following the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Tunis on Friday.

Recent attacks on American and other Western interests in the Middle East-North Africa region have mostly been associated with protests of a film -- most frequently cited as "Innocence of Muslims" -- about Islam that is believed to have been made by an Egyptian-born moviemaker residing in the U.S.

Relevant to the prospect of more attacks in the region, the Associated Press quoted al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula -- commonly described as the most active of the branches of the terror network founded by Osama bin Laden -- as saying, "[E]fforts should come together in one goal, which is to expel the embassies of America from the lands of the Muslims."

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