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U.S. warns travelers to Uzbekistan


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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The State Department warned U.S. citizens Saturday to "evaluate carefully the implications for their security" before traveling to Uzbekistan.

"The U.S. government has received information that terrorists may be planning attacks against hotels in Uzbekistan frequented by Westerners," the alert said.

"Supporters of extremist groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, al Qaeda, and the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement remain active in the region.

"These groups have expressed anti-U.S. sentiments and may attempt to target U.S. government or private interests in Uzbekistan," the alert said.

The notice said beefed-up security precautions at official U.S. facilities may lead terrorist groups to seek "softer targets" -- such as residential areas, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, hotels or resorts.

"U.S. citizens should increase their security awareness and avoid, if possible, locations where Americans and Westerners generally congregate in large numbers," the alert said.

The warning urged U.S. citizens in Uzbekistan to register and obtain updated security information at the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent.


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