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Travel Alert 2011

Warden Message

February 2, 2011

The U.S. Embassy in Nouakchott is issuing this Warden Message to inform U.S. citizens that in the early morning of February 2, 2011, a vehicle containing explosive materials failed to stop at a security check point in the Arafat neighborhood of Nouakchott.  Mauritanian security forces opened fire and the vehicle exploded, killing the passengers in the vehicle.  Mauritanian security forces were on alert for vehicles suspected of belonging to Al Qaeda in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) that may have recently entered Mauritania to conduct terrorist attacks.

One of the vehicles of concern was destroyed in last night’s attack and a second vehicle was reportedly confiscated elsewhere in Mauritania.
U.S. citizens driving in Mauritania are reminded to heed warnings to stop at security checkpoints.  While it does not appear that there were any U.S. citizens targeted in last night’s attack, U.S. citizens in Mauritania are reminded of the continued threat of attacks against Western targets in Mauritania and should review recent American Embassy Nouakchott security announcements, as well as the Department of State’s December 8, 2010 Travel Warning for Mauritania.

You can stay in touch and get Embassy updates by checking the U.S. Embassy Nouakchott web site (http://mauritania.usembassy.gov).  You can also get global updates at the U.S. Department of State's, Bureau of Consular Affairs website where you can find the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information (http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_966.html). 

If you don't have internet access, we have a call center for updates--1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. and Canada, or outside the U.S. and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except federal holidays). 

If you are going to live in or travel to Mauritania, please take the time to tell us about your trip by enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program ( STEP - https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/). If you enroll, we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements.  It will also help your friends and family get in touch with you in an emergency.  You should remember to keep all of your information in STEP up to date.  It is important during enrollment or updating of information to include your current phone number and current email address where you can be reached in case of an emergency.

The U.S. Embassy in Nouakchott is located between the Presidency building and the Spanish Embassy on Rue Abdallaye.  The postal address is B.P. 222, Nouakchott, telephone (222) 4-525-2660/2663, 4-525-1141/45, or 4-525-3038 (ext. 5441), and fax (222) 4-525-1592.  For after-hours emergencies, please call (222) 4-525-3288.