WASHINGTON, DC – Due to the increased risk of American citizen abductions, the U.S. State Department has updated its travel advisories for 35 countries, with a new indicator to highlight the risk of kidnapping and hostage taking. Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Sudan, South Sudan, Yemen and Libya are the Arab states on the list.
The announcement comes days after American tourist Kimberly Sue Endicott and her tour guide were rescued by security forces after being abducted in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Endicott and her guide were abducted at gunpoint while on a game drive last week, according to the Ugandan Tourism Board and Ugandan police. Four other people were taken at the same time, but they were freed while Endicott and her driver were taken from the park, officials said.
High-threat countries including Uganda will now be labeled with a “K” in order to “communicate more clearly to U.S. citizens the risks of kidnapping and hostage taking by criminal and terrorist actors around the world,” the department said Tuesday.
Here’s a list of the countries to which advisories have been updated to include the “K” indicator: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Russian Federation, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine (in Russian-controlled eastern Ukraine), Venezuela and Yemen.