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Most dangerous countries for Americans to travel to

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    31 most dangerous countries for Americans to travel to

    Summer travel may be in full swing, but certain areas of the world are better for Americans to vacation than others. The U.S. State Department has listed travel advisories for every country in the world, ranging from Level 1 to Level 4, with Level 4 being the most dangerous for travel.

    The State Department advises citizens not to travel to any of the 11 countries currently labeled as Level 4 due to the greater likelihood of life-threatening risk, according to its website.

    The countries on this list fall into both the Level 4 and Level 3 categories—the latter of which the State Department urges Americans to reconsider traveling to. While the State Department has not ranked countries in order of danger, Stacker examined the estimated rate of homicide per 100,000 people in a country as well as the date the advisory was last updated to determine which countries were the least safe.  

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    Sudan

    Advisory: Level 3: Reconsider Travel

    Date updated: Jan. 10, 2018

    Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 6.2

    The U.S. government suggests citizens reconsider travel to Sudan because of terrorism and civil unrest, and warns people not to travel to the Darfur region, Blue Nile state, and South Kordofan state because of crime and armed conflict. Terrorist groups in the country have stated their desire to harm and kill Westerners through bombings, shootings, and kidnappings, according to the State Department.

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    Cuba

    Advisory: Level 3: Reconsider Travel

    Date updated: Jan. 10, 2018

    Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 5.5

    Mysterious attacks on members of the U.S. embassy in Havana—that have led to injuries including hearing loss and cognitive issues—have led the government to warn people against traveling to Cuba. While the source of the attacks remains unknown, the State Department reports the attacks have occurred at U.S. diplomatic residences, Hotel Nacional,  and Hotel Capri in Havana.

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    Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Advisory: Level 3: Reconsider Travel

    Date updated: Jan. 10, 2018

    Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 13.3

    U.S. citizens should rethink travel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo due to civil unrest and crime, and should absolutely not travel to the eastern part of the country or the three Kasai provinces because of armed conflict. Perpetrators of violent crime may pose as government officials or security agents, according to the State Department.

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    Niger

    Advisory: Level 3: Reconsider Travel

    Date updated: Jan. 10, 2018

    Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 10.4

    Armed robbery and violent crime is common in Niger, the State Department reports. People should especially avoid travel to the border regions of Niger, because extremist groups based in Mali have crossed the border and attacked Nigerien forces.  

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    Guinea-Bissau

    Advisory: Level 3: Reconsider Travel

    Date updated: Jan. 10, 2018

    Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 9.2

    Travelers to Guinea-Bissau are frequently targeted for theft and minor assaults, and an uptick in narcotics trafficking has led to an increase in crime in the rural parts of the country. Additionally, police and emergency officials lack sufficient resources to respond to crime and violence.

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    Burkina Faso

    Advisory: Level 3: Reconsider Travel

    Date updated: Jan. 10, 2018

    Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 9.8

    Terrorist groups in Burkina Faso have continued to plot attacks with little to no warning, making travel unsafe. The State Department recommends citizens avoid all travel to the northern Sahel border region because of crime and terrorism.

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    Nicaragua

    Advisory: Level 3: Reconsider Travel

    Date updated: Jan. 10, 2018

    Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 13.9

    Civil unrest, crime, and limited health care availability have contributed to an inhospitable travel environment in Nicaragua, the State Department says. Government-controlled forces are known to attack and detain peaceful protestors, some of whom have gone missing.

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    Russia

    Advisory: Level 3: Reconsider Travel

    Date updated: Feb. 28, 2018

    Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 11.3

    Travelers should exercise caution if traveling to Russia due to a threat of terrorist attacks, and should avoid all travel to the north Caucasus and Crimea because of foreign occupation. The 2018 FIFA World Cup, which Russia is hosting, was warned to be a target for terrorists, according to the State Department.

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    Burundi

    Advisory: Level 3: Reconsider Travel

    Date updated: March 2, 2018

    Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 6.6

    Violent crimes in Burundi—including grenade attacks and armed robberies—are common, and local police don’t have the resources to respond to such crime. There are also continuous political tensions in the country, and some areas are vulnerable to raids and mortar fire from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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    Mauritania

    Advisory: Level 3: Reconsider Travel

    Date updated: March 2, 2018

    Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 11

    U.S. citizens should reconsider travel to Mauritania because of crime and terrorism in areas frequented by Westerners. Violent crimes including mugging, rape, robbery, and assault happen frequently, according to the State Department.

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    Turkey

    Advisory: Level 3: Reconsider Travel

    Date updated: May 24, 2018

    Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 2.7

    Travelers to Turkey are at risk for terrorism and arbitrary detentions, the State Department says. Turkish security forces have detained tens of thousands of people, including U.S. citizens, on charges of terrorism—with little to no evidence or political motivation.

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    Chad

    Advisory: Level 3: Reconsider Travel

    Date updated: May 29, 2018

    Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 9.6

    Minefields along Chad’s border with Libya and Sudan present a dangerous situation for U.S. travelers. Violent crimes in the country are common, and terrorists can easily cross the borders in the Lake Chad region, according to the State Department.

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    Guatemala

    Advisory: Level 3: Reconsider Travel

    Date updated: June 15, 2018

    Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 25.8

    Violent crime, including sexual assault, carjacking, armed robbery, and murder, is common in Guatemala. The State Department suggests that U.S. citizens traveling to Guatemala should request security escorts, avoid walking at night, and refrain from using public ATMs or displaying signs of wealth.

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    Lebanon

    Advisory: Level 3: Reconsider Travel

    Date updated: June 28, 2018

    Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 4.5

    Terrorism threats, armed conflict, and outbreaks of violence in Lebanon make it a hostile country for U.S. travelers. Refugee settlements, as well as the country’s border with Israel and Syria, have a potential for armed conflict and should be avoided at all costs, according to the State Department.

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    Honduras

    Advisory: Level 3: Reconsider Travel

    Date updated: July 2, 2018

    Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 55.5

    In Honduras, violent crimes such as gang activity, human trafficking, rape, and homicide are widespread, the State Department reports. People traveling to Honduras should avoid using cell phones in public—even while in stopped cars—and should not wear expensive watches or jewelry.

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    Venezuela

    Advisory: Level 3: Reconsider Travel

    Date updated: July 5, 2018

    Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 49.2

    U.S. citizens should avoid travel to Venezuela due to crime, civil unrest, arbitrary arrest and detention, and shortages of food, electricity, water, and medicine. The State Department says people should not travel at all to certain neighborhoods in Caracas, roads outside of Caracas after dark, or within 50 miles of the Colombian border.

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    Pakistan

    Advisory: Level 3: Reconsider Travel

    Date updated: July 7, 2018

    Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 9.6

    Terrorism continues to occur in Pakistan, and tourists should especially stay away from the Azad Kashmir area, the Balochistan province, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. In the past six months, 225 people were killed and 475 were wounded as a result of terrorist attacks, according to the State Department.

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    Nigeria

    Advisory: Level 3: Reconsider Travel

    Date updated: July 9, 2018

    Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 9.8

    It’s advised that Americans reconsider traveling to Nigeria due to crime and terrorism, in addition to piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. Tourists can be vulnerable to violent crime throughout the country—including armed robbery, assault, carjacking, rape, and kidnapping.

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    El Salvador

    Advisory: Level 3: Reconsider Travel

    Date updated: July 9, 2018

    Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 46

    In El Salvador, widespread gang activity raises activities such as extortion, violent street crime, and arms trafficking. If U.S. citizens decide to travel to the country, they should seek local guides when hiking in backcountry areas and avoid walking or driving at night.

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    Syria

    Advisory: Level 4: Do Not Travel

    Date updated: Jan. 10, 2018

    Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 2.5

    U.S. citizens should not travel to Syria due to the country’s widespread terrorism, armed conflict, and civil unrest. People in Syria face a significant risk of death or injury from the use of chemical warfare, shelling, and aerial bombardment, according to the State Department, and no area of the country is safe.

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    Central African Republic

    Advisory: Level 4: Do Not Travel

    Date updated: Jan.10, 2018

    Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 13.8

    Areas of the Central African Republic are controlled by armed groups who are known to kidnap, injure, and kill civilians, making this an unsafe country for tourists. If you decide to travel to the country, the State Department suggests you draft a will, appoint a family member to serve as a point of contact with hostage takers, and leave DNA samples with a doctor.

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    Iraq

    Advisory: Level 4: Do Not Travel

    Date updated: Jan. 10, 2018

    Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 15.5

    American citizens are at a high risk for violence and kidnapping in Iraq, as terrorist and insurgent groups often attack civilians. Even in Baghdad, attacks from improvised explosive devices can occur, the State Department reports.

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    North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea)

    Advisory: Level 4: Do Not Travel

    Date updated: Jan. 10, 2018

    Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 4.4

    People cannot travel to North Korea using a U.S. passport without a special validation from the State Department, and even those are only granted in rare cases. Traveling to North Korea means risking arrest and long-term detention, and the U.S. cannot provide emergency services to citizens in the country.

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    South Sudan

    Advisory: Level 4: Do Not Travel

    Date updated: Jan. 10, 2018

    Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 5.1

    Travel to South Sudan is extremely dangerous due to armed conflict and crime that can include shootings, ambushes, and robberies. The State Department recommends that if you choose to travel to South Sudan, you do so with a minimum of two vehicles, create a proof-of-life protocol with loved ones, and avoid all photography in public—as it is illegal.

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    Libya

    Advisory: Level 4: Do Not Travel

    Date updated: Jan. 10, 2018

    Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 2.5

    Westerners and U.S. citizens are often the targets of kidnapping for ransom in Libya, in addition to violent crime and terrorism. Militia groups often detain travelers for arbitrary reasons, and the country does not guarantee its detainees access to a legal process or allow them to inform others of their whereabouts.

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    Afghanistan

    Advisory: Level 4: Do Not Travel

    Date updated: Jan. 10, 2018

    Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 7.4

    Travel to Afghanistan is unsafe due to kidnappings, hostage takings, suicide bombings, landmines, and terrorist attacks, according to the State Department. Evacuation missions in the country are incredibly restricted because of Afghanistan’s lack of infrastructure, geographic limitations, and hostile security situation.

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    Somalia

    Advisory: Level 4: Do Not Travel

    Date updated: Jan. 10, 2018

    Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 5.6

    In Somalia, U.S. citizens are at risk for violent crimes including kidnapping and murder, and are vulnerable to pirates active in the waters off the Horn of Africa. Terrorists have continuously plotted attacks, some targeting Westerners and places where large crowds gather.

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    Haiti

    Advisory: Level 4: Do Not Travel

    Date updated: Jan. 10, 2018

    Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 28

    On July 9, 2018, the U.S. government authorized non-emergency government employees and their families voluntary departure from Haiti because of widespread crime and civil unrest. Protests, tire burnings, and road blockages have become frequent, and as a result, the U.S. has limited services to respond to emergencies.

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    Iran

    Advisory: Level 4: Do Not Travel

    Date updated: Feb. 22, 2018

    Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 4.5

    American tourists in Iran risk arrest and detention for arbitrary reasons—on charges including espionage and posing national security threats. The U.S. does not have diplomatic relations with Iran, so Switzerland serves as the protecting power for U.S. citizens. However, Iran often denies Swiss officials access to detained American citizens.

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    Mali

    Advisory: Level 4: Do Not Travel

    Date updated: June 28, 2018

    Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 11.3

    Violent crime is common in Mali, and especially so during local holidays and seasonal events. Terrorist groups also continue to operate in the country and target places of worship, Western diplomatic missions, hotels, and restaurants, the State Department says.

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    Yemen

    Advisory: Level 4: Do Not Travel

    Date updated: July 9, 2018

    Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 6.1

    No area of Yemen is safe, according to the State Department, and visitors to the country could face terrorism, civil unrest, and armed conflict. The military conflict has caused a deterioration of infrastructure within the country, leading to limited electricity, medical care, and drinking water. Yemen was also home to the world’s largest cholera outbreak, and the U.S. government has a limited ability to provide emergency services.



     

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