Dec 1, 2008

India - Named among 20 most dangerous places to visit

LONDON: The three-day long terror strike in its financial capital Mumbai has pushed India to be among the 20 most dangerous places to visit on
Earth, a British report has said.

Listing India among the world's 20 most dangerous places after the Mumbai terror strike that claimed close to 200 lives, UK daily The Telegraph said in an online report that the British government was currently advising against all, but essential, travel to Mumbai.

India has been listed along side places like Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Mexico, Thailand and South Africa in this list.

Chechnya, Jamaica, Sudan, Colombia, Haiti, Eritrea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Burundi, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Lebanon have also been named among the 20 "most dangerous places to visit on Earth."

Writing on India, the report said, "Although the Foreign Office is currently advising against all but essential travel to Mumbai, most of the rest of the country is considered safe.

Exceptions include the rural areas of Jammu, Kashmir (other than Ladakh) and the border area with Pakistan. There remains a high threat from terrorism throughout India."

Meanwhile, pointing out that there is a high threat of terrorism and sectarian violence throughout Pakistan, The Telegraph said, "... there are regular suicide bombings and attacks on positions of authority and locations frequented by foreign nationals in September this year a major explosion destroyed the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, killing more than 50 people and injuring more than 250."

Noting that security situation in Iraq remains "highly volatile," the daily said that there is a continuing high threat of terrorism throughout the country, including the threat of kidnapping of foreign nationals.

The Telegraph has said that Afghanistan has a high threat of terrorism, with a strong risk of kidnap, violent crime and suicide attacks across the country.

"The Foreign Office website strongly advises against all but essential travel to Kabul, adding that "no part of Afghanistan should be considered immune from violence and the potential exists throughout the country for hostile acts," it added.

On Sudan, the daily pointed out that the threat from indiscriminate terrorism is high in the country and that humanitarian situation "remains grim - more than two million people have been displaced by fighting in Darfur."

"Banditry is widespread in Darfur, especially in rural areas at night.

The Foreign Office advises against all travel to a number of areas, including the Eritrean border," The Telegraph said.

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