The Department of State warns U.S. citizens that the potential for a terrorist attack or localized civil disturbance still exists in Uzbekistan. The Department of State continues to urge U.S. citizens in Uzbekistan to exercise caution when traveling in the region. This supersedes the Travel Warning dated June 16, 2009, to update information on security incidents.
The U.S. government continues to receive information that indicates terrorist groups may be planning attacks, possibly against U.S. interests, in Uzbekistan. Supporters of terrorist groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Al-Qaida, the Islamic Jihad Union, and the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement are active in the Central Asian region. Members of these groups have expressed anti-U.S. sentiments and have attacked U.S. government interests in the past, including the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent, and may attempt to target U.S. government or private American interests in Uzbekistan. In the past, these groups have conducted kidnappings, assassinations, and suicide bombings.
Uzbek authorities maintain a high level of alert and aggressive security measures to thwart terrorist attacks. High security at official facilities may lead terrorists and their sympathizers to seek softer targets. These may include facilities where U.S. citizens and other foreigners congregate or visit, such as residential areas, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, hotels, outdoor recreation events, and resorts. The U.S. Embassy in Tashkent continues to employ heightened security precautions. U.S. citizens should report any unusual activity to local authorities and then inform the Embassy.
Uzbekistan experienced a wave of terrorist violence in 2004, including a suicide bombing outside the U.S. Embassy, and a number of incidents have occurred since then. In late May 2009, a small group of militants attacked a police check post near Khonobod in the Namangan region, injuring one police officer. On May 26, 2009, a suicide operative detonated explosives in central Andijon near a police office, killing at least one police officer and injuring several bystanders. In September 2009, there was a shoot-out in Tashkent between government authorities and suspected operatives of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan that resulted in several deaths.
The Uzbek government tightly controls all official border crossings. Travel within Uzbekistan by rail or land sometimes requires brief exit into neighboring countries. Travelers should have multiple-entry Uzbek visas and a proper visa for the neighboring country in order to avoid delays in travel. Furthermore, U.S. citizens affiliated with nongovernmental organizations that have been closed in Uzbekistan may be denied entry, even with a valid visa.
U.S. citizens traveling to or remaining in Uzbekistan are strongly urged to register with the U.S. Embassy through the State Department's travel registration website and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Uzbekistan. U.S. citizens without Internet access may register directly with the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent, located at # 3, Moyqorghon Street, 5th Block, Yunusobod District, Tashkent-700093, Uzbekistan. The telephone number is 998-71-120-5450 and can be reached after hours as well in the event of an emergency. The consular fax number is 998-71-120-5448; the consular section may also be contacted by email.
Current information on travel and security in Uzbekistan may also be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. For further information, please consult the Country Specific Information for Uzbekistan and the current Worldwide Caution, which are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website.
Travel Warnings are issued by the U.S. Department of State to describe long-term, protracted conditions that make a country dangerous or unstable.
Full name: Republic of Uzbekistan
Location: Central Asia, north of Afghanistan
Population: 27,865,738 (July 2010 est.)
Languages: Uzbek (official) 74.3%, Russian 14.2%, Tajik 4.4%, other 7.1%