US issues travel advisory for subcontinent during World Cup

Lalit K Jha

Washington, Feb 18 (PTI) The US has asked its citizensto be alert while travelling to the Indian subcontinent duringthe ICC cricket World Cup tournament, cautioning that such bigevents are always soft targets for militants.

As cricket''s biggest tournament opened in Dhaka, theUS State Department issued a travel advisory asking itscitizens living or travelling to the host countries -- India,Sri Lanka and Bangladesh -- to be conscious of safety andsecurity issues.

The advisory noted that there was no specificterrorist threat to the ICC World Cup, but advised caution assuch big events are considered soft targets.

"The Department of State alerts US citizens travellingto or residing in India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka to safetyand security issues related to the ICC Cricket World Cupscheduled to be held in those countries between February 19and April 2, 2011," it said.

In a statement after the mega cricket event kickedoff, the State Department said while the US government has nospecific threat information regarding the Cricket World Cup,high-profile events of this nature can be targets forterrorist attacks.

Observing that local authorities in the country whereindividual matches are held are responsible for securityarrangements for the ICC Cricket World Cup, it said UScitizens should monitor local news reports and consider thelevel of security present when visiting public places,including religious sites, or choosing hotels, restaurants,entertainment, and recreation and sporting venues.

The State Department also reminded its citizens aboutthe worldwide travel alert it had issued about Americannationals on January 31, which also includes South Asiancountries.

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