Subject: US says travelers to Timor should avoid stops in Indonesia

Agence France Presse

October 23, 2002 Wednesday

US says travelers to East Timor should avoid stops in Indonesia


The United States on Wednesday advised its citizens traveling to East Timor to avoid flights to the country that go through the Indonesian resort island of Bali, site of a deadly bombing earlier this month.

The announcement from the State Department followed the imposition of US economic and travel sanctions on Jemaah Islamiya, the Southeast Asian Islamist militant group suspected of involvement in the October 12 bombing.

"We recommend that travelers to East Timor transit through Darwin, Australia," the department said in a statement.

"We do not recommend transiting through Bali, Indonesia," it said, referring potential US travelers to East Timor to existing warnings against visiting Indonesia.

Numerous flights to Dili, the capital of East Timor, either originate in or transit the international airport in Bali.

In addition to the advice about avoiding Indonesia, the department also said US nationals should take extra security precautions if they travel to East Timor, where security conditions remain fluid despite an improvement in the situation.

"American citizens traveling to East Timor should exercise caution, avoid large gatherings, and remain alert with regard to their personal security," the department said.

should exercise extreme caution especially in public places, including clubs, restaurants, bars, hotels, schools, places of worship, outdoor recreational venues and other locations frequented by foreigners," it said.

The statement made no mention of any specific threat to US citizens or westerners in East Timor.

LOAD-DATE: October 24, 2002

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