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February 22, 08

NEWS / U.S. State Dept. issues travel alert on Serbia

The U.S. Department of State today issued a travel alert through March 6 because of the violence from “ongoing demonstrations in Serbia related to Kosovo’s recent declaration of independence,” according to the agency’s website.

Serbs protesting Kosovo’s independence declaration Sunday stormed the U.S. Embassy in the Serbian capital of Belgrade and set fire to its facade. The Associated Press is reporting that a charred body was found in the embassy after the attack.

The State Department says the embassy in Serbia remains closed temporarily. American travelers in Belgrade are advised to stay in a safe location and avoid the downtown area, according to the website. The embassy will be closed Friday and Monday.

Those concerned with the safety of family members or friends in Serbia may call (888) 407-4747 in the U.S. and Canada; (202) 501-4444 for those outside the U.S.; or can go to the embassy’s website (though we didn’t see any news updates when we checked).

Other State Department alerts for February:

Zimbabwe, issued Feb. 15 because of presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for March 29. The alert continues through May 1.

Mali, issued Feb. 12 because of “recent armed conflict, kidnappings, armed robberies and the presence of landmines.” Areas of particular concern include the Mali-Niger and Mali-Algeria borders, the Kidal region, areas north of Timbuktu and Tinzawaten. The alert expires Aug. 6.

Tajikistan, issued Feb. 7 because of severe weather that hampers travel and the fact that electricity and heating supplies have been cut to outlying areas. The alert expires April 1.

— Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Source: http://travel.latimes.com/daily-deal-blog/?p=1380



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