US Embassy warns Americans in Algeria


Algiers, Algeria – The U.S. Embassy in Algiers on Friday ordered its employees to tightly restrict their movements and urged other Americans in Algeria to do the same, citing indications of possible terrorist attacks.

Security concerns have been high in the Algerian capital since Dec. 11 suicide bombings targeted U.N. offices and a government building, killing at least 37 people, including 17 U.N. employees. An Algeria-based al-Qaida affiliate claimed responsibility for the attack.

“In response to continuing indications of possible terrorist attacks in Algiers, the Embassy has instructed its employees to avoid nonessential movement around the city until further notice, and may occasionally restrict movement completely,” the embassy said in a message.

The message also “strongly encouraged” American citizens in Algeria to avoid restaurants, nightclubs, churches and schools frequented by foreigners. The note was sent to embassy employees and Americans registered with consular authorities.

Embassy and State Department officials would not comment on the reason for the warning.

The December bombings in Algiers were the deadliest in a string of recent attacks blamed on al-Qaida in Islamic North Africa, the successor to an Algerian Islamist movement known as the Salafist Group for Call and Combat.