FYI: 10 Most Dangerous Destinations

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No 1. Somalia

iJet: 5
Control Risks: Extreme security and travel risk

The U.S. doesn’t have an embassy in Somalia, putting American citizens who travel there out of reach of U.S. assistance. Somalia’s federal government recently retook control of much of the country from the Union of Islamic Courts, but this could mean less stability ahead, not more. Interclan fighting and attacks on foreigners are frequent, as are abductions.

No 2. Iraq

iJet: 5
Control Risks: Extreme security, terrorism and travel risk

No region of Iraq is safe for visitors, not even Baghdad’s well-fortified Green Zone. The U.S.-led occupation has not tamed the insurgency, which is most concentrated in the central region that stretches from Tikrit in the north to Hillah in the south. Various criminal gangs and international terrorists are also active in Iraq and civilians die daily in attacks.

No 3. Afghanistan

iJet: 5
Control Risks: Extreme security, terrorism and travel risk

Travelers face the ongoing threat of kidnapping and assassination in Afghanistan, especially outside of Kabul. Former Taliban and al-Qaida operatives remain at large, and attacks with improvised explosive devices are on the rise. Large areas of the country are heavily land-mined or strewn with unexploded ordnance.

No 4. Democratic Republic of Congo

iJet: 5
Control Risks: High security and travel risk; extreme security and travel risk in northeast

The civil war has ended and the country held presidential elections last year, but dangers persist. Crime levels are high in the main cities, and strife continues in certain regions, especially the northeastern Ituri district and the provinces of North and South Kivu. U.N. observer forces, located around the country, are unable to prevent pillaging, carjackings, murders, rapes and kidnappings.

No 5. Côte d’Ivoire

iJet: 5
Control Risks: High security and travel risk; extreme security and travel risk in rebel-held north and near western border

Though a 2002 uprising supposedly ended in 2003, the north of the country remains under the control of armed rebels, and sporadic fighting has taken place in Abidjan, the commercial capital. The overall security situation remains potentially volatile, according to the State Department. Control Risks says that the rebellion exacerbated a rise in violent crime, including carjackings and armed robbery.

No 6. Pakistan

iJet: 4
Control Risks: High security and terrorism risk; extreme security and travel risk in tribal areas bordering Afghanistan

Domestic Islamic extremist groups, most of which are tied to al-Qaida, pose a serious risk to foreign companies and their workers. Car bombs, gun and grenade attacks and suicide bombings are aimed at Western targets, domestic politicians and local religious minorities and have frequently killed civilians. The capital, Islamabad, and tribal areas bordering Afghanistan are particularly dangerous.

No 7. Burundi

iJet: 4
Control Risks: High security and travel risk; extreme security and travel risk in provinces of Cibitoke, Bubanza and Bujumbura Rural

Because of poor security, few foreign workers remain in Burundi. A civil war that began in 1993 is ongoing, with rebel factions engaging in intense fighting with government forces. The parties agreed to a September 2006 ceasefire, but many of its provisions have not been implemented, and the rebels remain able to attack the capital, Bujumbura.

No 8. Sri Lanka

iJet: 4
Control Risks: Extreme security and travel risk and a high terrorism risk in Tamil-majority north and east; medium security, terrorism and travel risk in remainder of country

Lush tropical beauty once made Sri Lanka a popular holiday destination, but a ceasefire between the government and the separatist Tamil Tigers broke down last year, making the country a new addition to our danger list. While foreigners are not directly targeted, the risk of becoming collateral damage is rising in the north and northeast.

No 9. Haiti

iJet: 5
Control Risks: High security and travel risk

There is no effective police force in Haiti, where the State Department calls the danger of kidnappings “chronic and growing.” General elections in February 2006 brought about some political stability, aided by the presence of 8,000 U.N. peacekeeping troops. But violence persists, says Control Risks, thanks in part to the proliferation of firearms, an inefficient judiciary and police corruption.

No 10. Lebanon

iJet: 5
Control Risks: High risk in at least one category and region

Hostilities with Israel ended last August, but political tensions within Lebanon have been on the rise. The armed Shiite group Hezbollah (also a political party in Lebanon) maintains a strong presence in many areas, and other extremist groups are active in Tripoli, Sidon and Palestinian refugee camps. In the south, the danger of encountering land mines and unexploded ordnance is significant.

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