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Daily alert

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I am trying something new with the BPI blog.

Daily Intelligence Briefing
Monday, April 29 2013
AFGHANISTAN (Security threat level – )
BOMB KILLS THREE POLICEMEN IN GHANZI PROVINCE
A roadside bomb killed three policemen in Ghazni province on 28 April 2013, a day after the Taliban announced the start of their spring offensive. The officers were part of a convoy heading to Zana Khan to battle insurgents. A deputy provincial police chief was among the casualties. Attacks are expected to increase in frequency during the spring offensive. (28 Apr 2013)
NATO AIRCRAFT CRASHES IN SOUTHERN AFGHANISTAN
A NATO aircraft crashed on 27 April 2013 in Shah Joy district of Zabul province, killing four crew members. NATO personnel secured the scene shortly after the crash. The incident occurred on the same day that the Taliban announced plans for the spring offensive; however, NATO officials stated that there was no evidence of enemy action and that the crash occurred due to bad weather. (27 Apr 2013)
TALIBAN ANNOUNCE BEGINNING OF SPRING OFFENSIVE
On 27 April 2013 the Taliban announced the start of their spring offensive, when they typically step up attacks across Afghanistan. The group pledged in the announcement to use all possible tactics to inflict harm on foreign troops, including “green-on-blue” attacks, a term used to describe attacks by members of Afghanistan’s security forces on international security personnel. The Taliban also warned of increased targeting of diplomatic and Afghan military targets. (27 Apr 2013)
ALGERIA / FRANCE (Security threat levels – )
ALGERIA’S PRESIDENT IS BEING TREATED IN A PARIS HOSPITAL
On 28 April 2013 Algeria’s 76-year-old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika suffered a “mini-stroke” and was sent to a Paris hospital, where he is receiving treatment. His condition is being described as not critical, and he should be able to leave the hospital shortly. Bouteflika has had health issues in the past, which have impeded him from making many public appearances, and he has announced that he will step down from his position at the end of his term in 2014. (27 Apr 2013)
ARGENTINA (Security threat level – )
MAN MURDERED WHILE RESISTING ROBBERY IN BUENOS AIRES
On 26 April 2013 a man was murdered in the San Justo neighborhood of Buenos Aires after attempting to resist a robbery attempt. The man was accosted by the robbers in his vehicle as he arrived at a residence in the area at approximately 0015 local time; the robbers opened fire as the man attempted to drive off. No bystanders were injured in the incident. (26 Apr 2013)
VEHICLE ROBBED IN BUENOS AIRES
On 26 April 2013 armed gunmen robbed a vehicle and a sum of money from a Paraguayan national in the western Buenos Aires neighborhood of Caballito. The group of four men forced the victim out of the vehicle at gunpoint and forced him to hand over his money before driving away. The victim did not attempt to resist the robbery and was left unharmed. Police officers have not been unable to track down the perpetrators. (26 Apr 2013)

ARMENIA / AZERBAIJAN (Security threat levels – )
ARMENIAN AND AZERBAIJANI ARMED FORCES EXCHANGE GUNFIRE ACROSS CONTESTED BORDER
Armenian and Azerbaijani armed forces exchanged gunfire late on 26 April 2013 across the border separating the two countries. The Armenian troops allegedly initiated the attack by firing at Azerbaijani military posts in the Gazakh region. Gunfire was reported in the villages of Tapgaragoyunlu, Gulustan, Ashagy Abdulrahmanly, Chilabyurt,and Gekarkh. Armenia and Azerbaijan have had territorial conflicts in the past, but signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. Despite this agreement, incidents of violence continue to occur periodically. (26 Apr 2013)
ASIA (Security threat levels – )
MAY DAY RALLIES ACROSS THE REGION
According to union leaders, up to 200,000 people may participate in May Day rallies on May 1 across West Java. No formal plan has yet been announced for the rallies in Jakarta; however, likely locations include the Presidential Palace, the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle, and business districts along Jalan M. H. Thamrin and Jalan Jenderal Sudirman. Union leaders have also indicated that rallies may occur at industrial parks in Jakarta and other cities in West Java, such as Bandung, Merak, Bogor, Depok, and Bekasi. Police have strongly discouraged the groups from blocking main roads or disrupting businesses. Tens of thousands of police are likely to be deployed throughout Jakarta, with a further 12,000 police expected to be deployed in other major cities across West Java. Security forces are likely to maintain a significant presence at anticipated rally sites, as well as around government buildings, ports, airports and industrial parks. A number of labor unions have stated that they will take to the streets on May 1 as a means of drawing attention to ongoing dissatisfaction with health insurance and social security policies, recent fuel price increases, and the perception that the government of President Bambang Susilo Yudhoyono has not delivered on promises to initiate infrastructure projects and create jobs. Participant numbers may be higher than in previous years due to current political and social tensions surrounding a proposed increase in the price of subsidized fuel. May Day protests in previous years have resulted in violent confrontations between police and demonstrators, as well as significant traffic disruptions throughout affected cities; violence is also possible during the upcoming protests.

Sri Lanka: The following demonstrations are noted:
• The ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) will stage a mass gathering at Campbell Park in Colombo. Security will likely be especially tight near this rally, as President Mahinda Rajapaksa is slated to attend.
• UPFA and supporters will also stage a parade in Colombo scheduled to begin at 1200 and proceed along Nelum Pokuna Mawatha. Thousands of people will probably participate in these events.
• The main opposition United National Party (UNP) is planning to stage its main rally outside of its party headquarters in Sirikotha on the southeast outskirts of Colombo.
• Smaller demonstrations will take place in Badulla, Uva Province, and Kurunegala, North Western Province.
• The National Freedom Front is also planning a rally at the P.D. Sirisena grounds in Maligawatta, Colombo, while multiple leftist parties intend to gather at the Henry Pedris Grounds in Colombo.
Additional rallies may take place in these cities or elsewhere in the country and may not be announced in advance. None of the rallies is likely to become violent, though there will be a heightened police presence as a precaution. Expect localized business and transport disruptions.

Taiwan: Members of at least eight labor unions are planning a mass march in Zhongzheng District, Taipei, May 1 to mark Labor Day. The march will also protest plans by the government to reform pension plans. Organizers estimate that around 50,000 people will participate in the march, which will depart from the National Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall (Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall) and travel west along Ketagalan Boulevard approximately 0.5 km (0.3 miles) to the Presidential Office Building. Violent unrest is unlikely, but significant traffic congestion will probably occur on surrounding streets. Labor Day is a very popular day for rallies, so additional unannounced events are possible.

BANGLADESH (Security threat level – )
NATIONWIDE STRIKE ON 2 MAY FOR THE VICTIMS OF THE BANGLADESHI FACTORY COLLAPSE
The Bangladesh National Party (BNP) has called on its supporters to observe a nationwide one-day strike on 2 May 2013 to protest the deaths of workers in the 24 April collapse of a garments factory building. The strike is also meant to push the government to arrest all of those responsible for the collapse. Six people have already been arrested in connection with the incident. Additional political parties have urged their supporters to observe the strike on 2 May. (02 May 2013)
BANGLADESHI AUTHORITIES ARREST FOUR PEOPLE AMID RENEWED PROTESTS
On 27 April 2013 Bangladeshi authorities arrested four people in connection with the 24 April garment factory incident, including two engineers that worked on the plans for the factory and two of the factory’s owners. The two owners are being charged with “death due to negligence” due to the fact that they ordered their workers to return to work even after police officers issued an evacuation order when cracks were detected in the building on 23 April. The number of deaths stands at 370 and could increase.
Further protests over the building collapse took place in Dhaka and Chittagong on 27 April. In Dhaka, hundreds of protesters, mainly fellow garment workers, gathered at the factory site. Police officers cordoned off the area and used anti-riot tactics to keep the protesters at bay. Similarly, in Chittagong hundreds of garment workers took to the streets and set fire to vehicles. Protesters also blocked major roads in the city, causing traffic disruptions. (26 Apr 2013)
PROTESTS OVER GARMENT FACTORY COLLAPSE CONTINUE
Protests over the recent collapse of a garment factory in Savar continued on 26 April 2013. Crowds of protesters attempting to enter the site of the factory were held back by security forces, and approximately 50 people were injured in clashes. In Gazipur, located approximately 30 mi/50 km north of Dhaka, protesters also blocked roads and attacked local factories; police officers responded with rubber bullets and tear gas. The death toll from the collapse has increased to more than 300, but rescue and retrieval efforts are still underway and the total fatality count could rise. (26 Apr 2013)
BELIZE (Security threat level – )
GANG SUPPRESSION UNIT SEIZES COCAINE AT COROZAL AIRPORT
On 26 April 2013 police officials reported that members of the gang suppression unit had seized approximately 2 lb/1 kg of cocaine at the Corozal Airport (CZH) on 19 April. The drugs were reportedly found in a Devon biscuit box in a blue bag that arrived on a Tropic Air flight from San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. Several homes in the Corozal district were searched as part of the resulting police investigation. There have been no reports of any arrests. (26 Apr 2013)
CANADA (Security threat level – )
POLICE OFFICERS SHOOT MAN ARMED WITH MACHETE OUTSIDE TORONTO BANK
On 26 April 2013 police officers shot and killed a man armed with a machete outside a TD Bank branch in Toronto’s east-side around 1300 local time. Police officers were called to the scene after receiving reports that the man was acting suspiciously. According to some reports, the man was shot three times after engaging the officers in an altercation and attempting to flee the scene. He was transferred to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. Traffic disruptions have been reported in the area as six investigators and three forensic investigators were called to examine the scene. (26 Apr 2013)
CAYMAN ISLANDS (Security threat level – )
“SUSPICIOUS SUBSTANCE” SHUTS DOWN THE AIRPORT POST OFFICE IN GEORGE TOWN
On 26 April 2013 officials shut down the Airport Post Office in Dorcy Drive, George Town, after a “suspicious substance” was found inside a mail bag. The mailbag and its entire contents have been quarantined and will undergo testing. The Post Office has been evacuated and is expected to remain closed until further notice. There were no reports of any injuries. (26 Apr 2013)
CENTRAL/ SOUTH AMERICA (Security threat level – )
MAY DAY RALLIES IN CENTRAL/ SOUTH AMERICA
Several countries throughout South America will celebrate Labor Day on May 1. Labor unions in these countries typically organize large, peaceful marches; those in capital cities and near government buildings could be particularly large. Some groups and governments use Labor Day as an opportunity to rally support for various political causes, particularly in Venezuela*. Large, potentially disruptive, rallies are likely at the following locations:
• Bogota, Colombia: UPJ Building, Plaza Bolivar
• Buenos Aires, Argentina: Plaza de Mayo
• Cali, Colombia: Plaza Caicedo, Government Headquarters
• La Paz, Bolivia: Plaza Murillo
• Quito, Ecuador: Plaza Grande, Plaza San Francisco
• Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Cinelandia
• Santiago, Chile: Downtown Santiago
CZECH REPUBLIC (Security threat level -)
EXPLOSION IN PRAGUE’S CITY CENTER
An explosion occurred inside a building on Divadelni Street in the center of Prague on 29 April 2013. The building sustained severe damage; approximately 50 people were injured, and three people are believed to be buried under the rubble. The affected building houses the office of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and an art gallery; other buildings in the area were evacuated. The cause of the explosion has not yet been confirmed, but authorities suspect that it was the result of a gas explosion. Divadelni Street has been closed off to all traffic, and there will likely be heavy delays in Prague’s city center. Travelers should keep abreast of local developments. (29 Apr 2013)
ECUADOR (Security threat level – )
POLICE LAUNCH RAID ON SHANTYTOWN IN GUAYAQUIL
On 26 April 2013 police officers launched a surprise raid on the Siempre en Lucha shantytown in Guayaquil following reports of criminal activity originating in the area. More than 100 officers participated in the raid, seizing several automatic weapons and a stolen vehicle from approximately 20 households. An unreported number of people were arrested during the raid. (26 Apr 2013)
EGYPT (Security threat level – )
POLICE ARREST “BLACK BLOC” MEMBERS
Egyptian police officers arrested a dozen members of the “Black Bloc” on 27 April 2013 after clashes outside the presidential palace in Cairo. The “Black Bloc” is a violent protest group that opposes the Muslim Brotherhood. Police officers used tear gas to clear the protesters, who were throwing rocks and fire bombs; up to 20 people were injured. (27 Apr 2013)
TOURISTS BLOCKED FROM LEAVING ASWAN GOVERNORATE
Approximately 600 foreign tourists were prevented from leaving the Abu Simbel temple in Aswan governorate, located in southern Egypt, on 26 April 2013. Members of the Nubian ethnic group blocked roads between the temple site and Aswan city following clashes over a land dispute on the evening of 25-26 April. Tourists were reportedly safe in hotels near the temple site while authorities were negotiating an end to the blockade. The roads were later reopened by security forces. (26 Apr 2013)

EL SALVADOR (Security threat level – )
DENGUE FEVER STATISTICS RELEASED
On 25 April 2013 the Health Ministry (Minsal) released statistics showing the emergence of 120 new cases of dengue fever over the previous week, bringing the annual total to 1,378. The departments of Ahuachapan, Santa Ana, San Salvador and La Union have reported the biggest increases year-on-year, attributed to stagnant water from heavy rains. Minsal has launched fumigation efforts to combat the spread of the disease in the above areas. (26 Apr 2013)
VETERANS MARCH IN SAN SALVADOR
On 25 April 2013 veterans groups held a march in San Salvador to ask for increased pensions from the government. The approximately 700 demonstrators assembled at several points in the city and marched toward the legislative assembly; the National Police maintained watch over the protest route and at the assembly. No disruptions or security incidents were reported during the protest. (25 Apr 2013)
EUROPE (Security threat level – )
MAY DAY RALLIES IN EUROPEAN CITIES
Labor unions will commemorate May Day (International Workers Day) throughout Europe on May 1. While these events are generally peaceful, some low-level violence between left-wing activists and police is possible beginning late April 30. Attacks on police and acts of vandalism, particularly by militant left-wing groups, are a May Day tradition in many European cities. The nature and location of the protests have become increasingly hard to predict in recent years; however, some organizations have announced their plans in advance. Some events are listed below, along with venues that are more likely to see low-level violence:
• Czech Republic: Leftist organizations and unions are planning to hold a large demonstration in Prague at Namesti Republiky, while anarchist groups will gather on Strelecky ostrov (Shooters Island) starting at 1300.
• France: Thousands of protesters will likely take to the streets in major cities across France. In Paris, demonstrators will assemble at 1500 at Place Denfert-Rochereau and march towards the Place de la Bastille via boulevards Saint-Michel, Saint-Germain, and Henri IV.
• Germany: Labor unions are planning demonstrations in every major city across the country, with the largest actions to take place in Berlin beginning April 30. Anarchist rallies and anti-fascist events will likely take place in the Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain, and Koepenick districts of Berlin, starting late April 30. Around 20 different protest actions are expected throughout May 1. Violence between far-right groups, anarchists, anti-fascist groups, and police, as well as vandalism and car torching, are likely starting late April 30.
• Greece: The umbrella union of Greek maritime workers, Panhellenic Maritime Federation, will stage a 24-hour strike beginning 0001 May 1 to protest government-proposed limitations to the union’s collective bargaining rights. If not averted, the industrial action will affect most ferry routes, as well as ship, dock, and port services, including those at the Port of Piraeus, a major center for Greek and international shipping. Goods deliveries could be affected; lingering disruptions are likely after the action ends as backlogs are cleared. Union members will protest at Karaiskaiki Square in Piraeus beginning at 1030. In addition, the General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE), representing about 2 million private sector workers, and the PAME Communist union have announced they will stage a 24-hour strike on May 1 to protest a decision to move the usual May 1 Labor Day holiday to May 7. Although this work stoppage will have little direct impact, it may lead to business disruptions, particularly if other unions join the action. The unions will hold a mass rally on Syntagma Square beginning at 1030. Protesters will probably block nearby streets, creating severe traffic delays. Metro lines in Athens will suspend services 0530-0900 May 1, also in observance of the traditional Labor Day holiday. The Metro link between central Athens and Athens International Airport (ATH) will not be affected.
• Italy: Trade unions have also organized a large event in Rome at the Piazza San Giovanni that is likely to attract thousands of participants.
• Poland: Unions and left-wing parties will march along Rozbrat Street in Warsaw beginning at 1200 and will gather in Smiglego-Rydza Park.
• Portugal: Unions will stage a mass march and rally in Lisbon beginning at 1430. Demonstrators will assemble on Praca do Marques de Pombal and march to Praca dos Restauradores.
• Spain: Trade unions are planning a multitude of events nationwide and thousands of protesters will likely participate. InMadrid, demonstrators will assemble at 1200 at the Fuenta del Neptuno and march towards Puerta del Sol. Low-level clashes between protesters and police are possible.
• Switzerland: A number of demonstrations are planned nationwide, with the largest in Zurich. Demonstrators will gather at 0930 on Lagerstrasse and march towards Burkliplatz.
• United Kingdom: A march and rally is slated to begin at 1200 at Clerkenwell Green, London, and then head toward Trafalgar Square. Clerkenwell Road (EC1), Theobalds Road, Proctor Street, High Holborn, Aldwych, and Strand will all be cordoned off during the march.
FRANCE (Security threat level – )
EXPLOSION DESTROYS BUILDING IN REIMS
On 28 April 2013 an explosion at a residential building in the Wilson area of Reims, a northern French city, caused the structure to collapse, killing at least three people and leaving 14 wounded; two residents are still missing. The cause of the explosion is believed to be a gas leak, but authorities have yet to confirm this. (28 Apr 2013)
GAZA STRIP / ISRAEL (Security threat levels – )
ROCKET FIRED FROM GAZA STRIP LANDS IN SOUTHERN ISRAEL
On the night of 28-29 April 2013 a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed in an open field in the Eshkol Regional Council area of southern Israel; no casualties or damage was reported. The Israeli government believes that this most recent incident was a retaliatory act in response to the air strikes conducted by the Israeli Air Force (IAF) on 28 April. (29 Apr 2013)
GERMANY (Security threat level – )
AIRCRAFT CRASHES IN NORTHERN GERMANY
On 26 April 2013 a Socata TBM 700 aircraft en route from Kiel Airport (EDHK/KEL) crashed while preparing to land at Rotenburg Wumme Airport (EDXQ). Police gave no immediate information on the cause of the crash; four people on board were killed. (26 Apr 2013)
GREECE (Security threat level -)
GREEK PARLIAMENT PASSES BILL THAT WILL LAY OFF 15,000 PUBLIC SECTOR WORKERS
On 28 April 2013 protesters gathered outside the parliament building in Athens as lawmakers passed a bill that will eliminate 15,000 civil service jobs by the year 2014. The bill came as a surprise, because individuals in the public sector have usually enjoyed a high level of job security. The legislation is in line with austerity measures that the Greek coalition government has approved in the past few months in order to receive 8.8 billion Euros in bailout funds from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Further protests, demonstrations and public sector strikes are expected to occur as a result of this bill. (28 Apr 2013)

GUINEA (Security threat level – )
BRITISH FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH OFFICE UPDATES TRAVEL ADVICE FOR GUINEA
On 26 April 2013 the British Foreign and Commonwealth office updated its travel advice for Guinea, which reads in part as follows:
“There was serious rioting and clashes between ethnic groups in Conakry in September 2012, and in March 2013. In March and April, the districts of Madina, Hamdallaye, Cosa and Bambeto were particularly affected by violence. Further riots and violent spontaneous demonstrations can’t be ruled out. Extreme vigilance should be exercised in any travel around Conakry. …” (26 Apr 2013)
ICELAND (Security threat level – )
CENTER-RIGHT OPPOSITION WINS ELECTION
According to reports that emerged on 29 April 2013, the right-wing Independence Party and centrist-agrarian Progressive Party won a combined 51.1 percent of the vote in legislative elections. Each party won 19 legislative seats. These parties were voted out in 2009 after the collapse of the Icelandic economy. Negotiations to form a coalition government could last several days. (28 Apr 2013)
INDIA (Security threat level – )
HOTELS AND RESTAURANTS TO STRIKE IN GUJARAT
In protest over a 4.95 percent service charge that will be levied on air-conditioned restaurants, hotel and restaurant operators in the state of Gujarat will stage a one-day strike on 29 April 2013. Restaurants at hotels will be closed, but accommodations will remain available. The South Gujarat Hotel and Restaurant Association (SHARA) is planning a protest on 29 April to be held at the Mahatma Gandi statue in the Chowk Bazaar. Protests are being held nationwide, and a memorandum will be submitted to the commissioner of excise, customs and service tax. (29 Apr 2013)
FIRE BREAKS OUT AT RESEARCH FACILITY IN ODISHA STATE
On the morning of 28 April 2013 a fire broke out at a defense research facility in Chandipur, Odisha state. The fire was quickly contained, and no injuries were reported. Roads to the facility have been blocked off, and preliminary investigations have revealed that the fire began in a lab that conducts ammunition tests. (28 Apr 2013)
SIX-YEAR-OLD GIRL RAPED IN NEW DELHI
Police officers detained 22 people on 27 April 2013 after a six-year-old girl was found raped and with her throat slashed in Badarpur district on the outskirts of New Delhi. The girl is expected to survive. The 22 arrested men have criminal records. This is the latest in a string of sexual assaults on women and young girls in India that have sparked outrage and protests since December 2012. (27 Apr 2013)
FOUR POLICE OFFICERS KILLED IN KASHMIR
On 26 April 2013 unidentified assailants killed four police officers in the village of Hygam, located approximately 35 mi/55 km north of Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir. The police officers from Sopore were deployed to Hygam when residents of the village reported suspicious activity; they came under attack immediately upon reaching the village. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, and local authorities have not made any arrests. (26 Apr 2013)

HOSPITAL COLLAPSES IN BHOPAL
A section of the Kasturba Gandhi Hospital, a government hospital in the city of Bhopal, collapsed on 26 April 2013 at approximately 1730 local time. As of last report, four people had been injured, 10 were rescued and anywhere from 20 to 35 others were thought to be trapped inside. There are conflicting reports on whether the part of the building that collapsed was an old part of the hospital or a section that was under construction.
No information is available on the cause of the collapse. Such incidents occur periodically in India, usually due to poor quality construction and lax implementation of safety standards. Before the Bhopal hospital, the latest high-profile incident of this nature occurred on 4 April, when a seven-story building collapsed in Thane district, located near Mumbai, killing at least 74 people. (26 Apr 2013)
INDONESIA (Security threat level – )
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL RAPED IN BALI
An Australian tourist on vacation in Bali was raped during a robbery at her family’s rented villa on 27 April 2013. The perpetrator also stole some of the family’s personal belongings as well as 1.5 million rupiah (approximately US$155). The victim was treated at a local hospital but was released the same day. A guard was supposed to be present outside the residence, but this guard was not at his post at the time of the incident. Local authorities are currently searching for the perpetrator. (27 Apr 2013)
ACEH NATIONAL PARTY MEMBER ABDUCTED AND KILLED
On 26 April 2013 an unidentified gunman kidnapped and killed an Aceh National Party (PNA) member in the Pidie Regency of Aceh. The victim’s body was found in an abandoned vehicle in a river in the village of Glumpang. Spokespersons for the PNA believe that the murder is linked to political tensions due to the fact that several PNA members have been receiving death threats since the party was approved to participate in the upcoming 2014 elections. (26 Apr 2013)
IRAQ (Security threat level – )
CAR BOMBINGS IN SHIITE PROVINCES IN SOUTHERN IRAQ
Three separate car bombs exploded in Shiite provinces in southern Iraq on 29 April 2013, killing more than 10 people. Two of the bombs exploded in the town of Amara in Missan province, one in front of a police station and the other near a market; eight people were killed and 35 were wounded in the two blasts. The third bomb exploded in the center of the city Diwaniya, killing at least two people and injuring 27 others. (29 Apr 2013)
IRAQI GOVERNMENT REVOKES OPERATING LICENSES OF 10 TV CHANNELS
On 28 April 2013 Iraq’s media commission revoked the operating licenses of 10 TV channels — including al-Jazeera — on charges that they were “inciting sectarian conflict.” Journalists from these channels will be banned from reporting within Iraq. If they are found doing so, security forces will apprehend them. Critics of this action believe that it is a ploy by the Iraqi government to crack down on Sunni dissent. The majority of the TV channels that had their licenses revoked are financially backed by Sunni Muslims. (28 Apr 2013)
KURDISH FORCES DEPLOY NEAR KIRKUK
On 27 April 2013 Kurdish security forces deployed near Kirkuk, a city whose status is contested between Kurds on the one hand and Arabs and other ethnic groups on the other. Kurdish forces claim the deployment is aimed at fighting militants in the area. Iraqi army officials expressed alarm at the deployment, seeing it as an attempt to improve the Kurds’ strategic position. (27 Apr 2013)

VIOLENT INCIDENTS CONTINUE IN AND AROUND BAGHDAD
On 27 April 2013 unidentified gunmen who were guarding a protest site in Ramadi killed four Iraqi soldiers. Additionally, five anti al-Qaeda militants were killed in an attack north of Baghdad. Approximately 190 fatalities have occurred in the past five days of violent protests in and around Baghdad. Demonstrations continue to be held to denounce the government and its alleged persecution of Sunni Muslims. On 26 April four Sunni mosques in and around Baghdad were bombed, killing four people and wounding 50 others. Iraqi security forces announced a curfew from 2100 until 0400 in the large Sunni-majority Anbar Province to contain the violence. (27 Apr 2013)
ISRAEL / GAZA STRIP (Security threat levels – )
ISRAEL CONDUCTS AIR STRIKES ON GAZA
In response to rockets that were fired from Gaza into southern Israel on 19 April 2013, the Israeli Air Forces (IAF) staged three airstrikes in southern Gaza on 28 April, hitting strategic sites in the area. Two of the airstrikes targeted al-Quds Brigade positions in the town of Khan Younis. The other air strike hit a military training base near Rafah. There were no reports of casualties. Before the 28 April developments, the last air strikes conducted by the IAF in Gaza were in early April 2013. (28 Apr 2013)
ITALY (Security threat level – )
GUNMAN FIRED MULTIPLE SHOTS OUTSIDE OF THE NEW PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE
On 28 April 2013 an armed assailant, who has been identified as a businessman, was arrested after he opened fire near Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s office, injuring three police officers. At the time of the attack, Letta was being sworn into office. No information is available regarding the man’s motives. (28 Apr 2013)
ITALIAN COALITION GOVERNMENT WILL BE SWORN IN ON 28 APRIL
Italy will swear in a new coalition government on the morning of 28 April 2013 at the presidential Quirinale Palace in Rome. The Democratic Party (PD) and the People of Freedom Party (PDL) will lead the coalition government. The new government is expected to tackle issues that have been plaguing the Italian economy, such as rising youth unemployment and a stagnant economy. (28 Apr 2013)
JORDAN (Security threat level – )
PROTEST AGAINST U.S. TROOP DEPLOYMENT HELD IN AMMAN
Approximately 300 people gathered in Amman on 26 April 2013 to protest the proposed deployment of U.S. troops on the Jordan-Syria border. Opponents of the 200-strong force expressed worry that it would be the beginning of a larger-scale operation in Syria. Some members of the crowd burned American flags and expressed solidarity with the Syrian government. There were no reports of violence during the demonstration. (26 Apr 2013)
KYRGYZSTAN (Security threat level – )
JSC INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT MANAS ANNOUNCES MAJOR RENOVATIONS TO AIRPORT INFRASTRUCTURE
Representatives of JSC International Airport Manas announced on 26 April 2013 that the company will begin large-scale reconstruction of Osh International Airport (UAFO/OSS) in 2013. The reconstruction will include new international terminals and additional infrastructure. In addition, the company announced that it has plans to reconstruct the runway and renovate a terminal at Manas International Airport (UAFM/FRU), which serves Bishkek, and is considering building a new airport in Osh. The company estimated the total cost for all three projects at more than US$2 billion, which it hopes to raise by attracting foreign investment. (26 Apr 2013)

LIBYA (Security threat level – )
GUNMEN SURROUND FOREIGN MINISTRY, STORM INTERIOR MINISTRY
According to reports by local military sources on 28 April 2013, approximately 200 gunmen armed with AK-47s and sniper rifles surrounded the Foreign Ministry and used pick-up trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns to blocked traffic around the building. The gunmen demanded that the Libyan government ban officials who were loyal to Gaddafi from obtaining senior positions in the new administration. Armed men also stormed the Interior Ministry, demanding unpaid wages. Employees fled the building. (28 Apr 2013)
EXPLOSION AT BENGHAZI POLICE STATION
An explosion occurred at a police station in Benghazi at 0700 local time (0500 UTC) on 27 April 2013. The explosion caused extensive damage to the building, but there were no casualties. At the time of the explosion, police officers were in the part of the building that was not affected by the bomb. Local authorities believe that those responsible for the attack threw an explosive device onto the premises of the station. No group has claimed responsibility as of yet, but Islamic militants are suspected. (27 Apr 2013)
LIBYAN MOVIE AWARDS RECEIVE BOMB THREAT
According to Libyan authorities, an anonymous bomb threat was called in to the Libyan Movie Awards in Tripoli on 26 April 2013. The threat to the Mahari theater in the Radisson Blu Hotel prompted authorities to ask attendees to leave, bringing the second day of the three-day festival to a halt. Authorities did not report the discovery of any explosives at the site. (26 Apr 2013)
AUTHORITIES FIND KIDNAPPED OFFICIAL
Authorities in Benghazi found a kidnapped official on 25 April 2013. The city’s public registrar was abducted on 23 April after publicly threatening to name residents who had forged documents in order to claim extra benefits. He was taken as he departed the Al-Ahrar TV station in the city. Witnesses stated that the victim was reportedly tortured by his kidnappers. (25 Apr 2013)
MALAWI (Security threat level – )
CHANCO STUDENTS MARCH IN ZOMBA
On 26 April 2013 students from Chancellor College (Chanco) staged a march in the eastern city of Zomba to protest university officials’ plans to increase tuition fees. Reports indicate that police officers escorted the students as they marched to deliver a petition outlining their grievances. The protesters blocked roads, but there were no reports of violence. The students contend that raising fees from the current K100,000 to K250,000 is “outrageous.” Students at other universities around the country — including Mzuzu University, Polytechnic College, Blantyre International University and Lilongwe Technical College — have been staging demonstrations in recent weeks over various fee, allowance and tuition issues. (26 Apr 2013)
MALI (Security threat level – )
ARAB GROUPS CLASH IN NORTHERN MALI
Two rival Arab communities clashed in northern Mali on 25 April 2013. The Arab Movement for Azawad (MAA) and the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) vied for control of Anefis, located approximately 120 mi/200 km north of Gao. At least six people were killed in the violence. The MNLA subsequently deployed fighters throughout Anefis. (25 Apr 2013)
MNLA BLOCKS SUPPLY DELIVERY TO MENAKA
According to reports on 25 April 2013 Tuareg rebels from the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) prevented supply trucks from entering the northern town of Menaka. The trucks were passing through Kidal when the MNLA blocked the route, halting food supplies to residents in Menaka. (25 Apr 2013)
MEXICO (Security threat level – )
TEACHERS BLOCK HIGHWAY DURING SILENT PROTEST MARCH NEAR CHILPANCINGO
On 26 April 2013 student teachers from Ayotzinapa and members of the State Coordination of Education Workers of Guerrero (CETEG) marched silently along the Autopista de Sol highway to the Parador del Marques in honor of the two student teachers who were killed in a December 2011 protest. The protesters blocked the highway for approximately 50 minutes before returning to their protest camp in Chilpancingo. Federal and riot police officers monitored the protest on the ground while a helicopter watched the march from above. There were no reports of any arrests or injuries. (26 Apr 2013)
CETEG TEACHERS UNION TO HOLD 1 MAY “MEGA MARCH” IN CHILPANCINGO
On 1 May 2013 the Coordination of State Education Workers (CETEG) will be holding a mega-march in the city of Chilpancingo in the state of Guerrero to protest against federal education reform. Previous demonstrations have turned violent with protesters throwing stones at government buildings and blocking roads, including the main Autopista del Sol highway, which links Chilpancingo to the resort city of Acapulco, for hours on end. It remains unclear whether further protest actions will be held in other cities, although the likelihood of such an event remains high. (26 Apr 2013)
NO FURTHER CETEG TEACHER PROTESTS UNTIL 1 MAY
On 26 April 2013 the director of the Coordination of State Education Workers (CETEG) announced that no further protests or demonstrations against the federal education reform will be taking place until 1 May. The break in the activity is reportedly meant to allow for unions to discuss the education reform with government representatives. However, the CETEG union will continue to maintain its protest camp in the city of Chilpancingo although all other actions will be suspended. (26 Apr 2013)
GUNMEN ATTACK CONSTRUCTION WORKERS NEAR ACAPULCO
On 25 April 2013 a group of armed men opened fire on a group of construction workers loading sand onto a truck at the La Sabana River in the rural town of Los Órganos, located just outside the resort city of Acapulco. At least six people were killed and two injured in the attack. The motive for the attack remains unknown, although drug traffickers have been known to target transportation businesses and businesses that transport construction materials in the past. The incident remains under investigation. (25 Apr 2013)
NORTH AMERICA (Security threat level – )
MAY DAY RALLIES IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA
Multiple activist organizations will stage May Day (International Workers Day) rallies throughout the US and Canada May 1. In the US, groups will probably be most active in California and New York City; multiple rallies are scheduled across both areas. Most demonstrations will probably be peaceful, mainly resulting in localized traffic disruptions. In some cases, marches in downtown areas or near commercial centers may temporarily impede access to work sites. Police may increase their presence outside government buildings, near shopping plazas, and on major roads as a precaution. While most demonstrations will be peaceful, some protests, particularly those against capitalism, may turn violent. Areas where anti-capitalist rallies are planned include Cityfront Plaza in Chicago, Ill. and the Civic Center in San Francisco, Calif. Potentially violent protests are also possible in downtown Seattle, Wash. where anarchist groups vandalized numerous storefronts during May Day activities in 2012.

Multiple activist organizations will also stage May Day (International Workers Day) rallies throughout Canada May 1. Most demonstrations will probably not cause major disruptions, though many of them are scheduled for the evening, possibly creating substantial traffic delays during rush hour. May Day activities will probably be nonviolent in most cities, but clashes between protesters and police, as well as vandalism, are possible, particularly in Montreal. Police may increase their presence outside government buildings and on major roads as a precaution. Rally locations include the following:
• Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island: Rally at Legislative Assembly 1630-1930 ADT
• Montreal, Quebec: Rally at City Hall 1830 EDT; spontaneous actions likely
• Quebec City, Quebec: Rally at 330 Rue de la Gare du Palais 1700 EDT
• Toronto, Ontario: March from City Hall to Little Norway Park departs 1730 EDT
• Vancouver, British Columbia: Rally at Victory Square 1830 EDT
• Windsor, Ontario: March along Drouillard Road departs from Riverside Drive 1700 EDT
NIGERIA (Security threat level – )
NIGERIAN NATIONALS KIDNAPPED IN BAYELSA STATE
According to local reports on 28 April 2013, nine employees from two oil companies, the Octopus Clan Nigerian Limited and the Deck Oil Servicing Company, were kidnapped on 26 April in the southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa state. All of those kidnapped were Nigerian nationals. The perpetrators of the crime are believed to be from the same gang that killed 12 policemen on 9 April. (28 Apr 2013)
ANSARU MEMBER EXPLAINS WHY GROUP KIDNAPS FOREIGNERS
On 26 April 2013 a member of the Boko Haram breakaway group Ansaru reportedly explained that the militants target and kidnap foreign nationals “to send a message to the Western powers on the kind of advice they give to Nigerian leaders.” Ansaru has taken responsibility for several kidnappings of foreigners in northern Nigeria, including the abduction of seven foreign construction workers in Bauchi; it is also believed to have been responsible for kidnapping a French engineer in December 2012 and Italian and British nationals also in 2012. The spokesperson went on to say that the group is greatly influenced by the al-Qaeda movement and that its members have trained with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). The group broke away from Boko Haram to protest indiscriminate targeting, as Ansaru does not believe in targeting or killing Nigerian nationals. (26 Apr 2013)
NORTH KOREA / SOUTH KOREA (Security threat levels – / )
SOUTH KOREA BELIEVES NORTH KOREA MAY BE PREPARING FOR A MILITARY EXERCISE
According to South Korean news sources on 28 April 2013, North Korea may be planning a major military exercise in the near future. Activity at North Korea’s western port of Nampo, has led South Korean military officials to conclude that the country is planning a live-fire drill involving artillery units and air force aircraft. (28 Apr 2013)
SOUTH KOREAN WORKERS LEAVE KAESONG INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX
A group of 125 South Korean workers left the jointly-managed Kaesong industrial complex in North Korea on 27 April 2013 after North Korea refused talks about re-opening the facility. There are still 50 or so South Korea employees at Kaesong; they are scheduled to return to South Korea by 29 April 2013. The issues surrounding the industrial complex stem from rising military tensions on the peninsula. (27 Apr 2013)
NORTH KOREA / UNITED STATES (Security threat levels – / )
U.S. NATIONAL PUT ON TRIAL IN NORTH KOREA
A U.S. national, who was detained by the North Korean government in November 2012, was put on trial on 27 April 2013. He is being charged with trying to overthrow the government. North Korean officials have stated that the detainee may be sentenced to death. (27 Apr 2013)

PAKISTAN (Security threat level – )
SUICIDE BOMBING IN PESHAWAR TARGETS A LOCAL SENIOR OFFICIAL
On 29 April 2013 a suicide bomber crashed his motorcycle into the side of a passenger bus in Peshawar’s Jehangir Abad neighborhood; the bomber was carrying 13 lbs/6 kg of explosives on his person. The attack targeted a local senior official who had passed the scene of the crime minutes before the attack. The official was not injured, but the bombing killed eight people and injured 45 others. Although no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, local authorities suspect members of the Pakistani Taliban. The group has intensified the pace of attacks ahead of the 11 May parliamentary elections. (29 Apr 2013)
BOMB BLASTS TARGET ELECTION OFFICES IN NORTHWESTERN PAKISTAN
Early on 28 April 2013 there were two bomb blasts at two different election offices in northwestern Pakistan. One of the bombs targeted a Shiite Muslim’s election office in the city of Kohat. The politician is running as an independent candidate in the upcoming general elections on 11 May. Six of his supporters were killed in the blast. The second bomb exploded at another independent candidate’s election offices just outside Peshawar. No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks. (28 Apr 2013)
TWIN BOMBINGS NEAR ELECTION OFFICE IN KARACHI
Two bombs exploded in Karachi late on 27 April 2013, one outside the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) election office and a second in nearby Shiite Imambargah. Five people are confirmed dead and 40 others injured. This is the fourth bombing in Karachi in five days, as violence has escalated in the run-up to general elections on 11 May 2013. At least 23 people have been killed in these attacks, and the wave of violence is likely to continue. (27 Apr 2013)
BOMB DESTROYS ELECTION OFFICE IN NORTHWESTERN TRIBAL AREA
A bomb exploded at an election office in Miranshah, located in the North Waziristan tribal region near the Afghan border, on 26 April 2013. The explosion occurred late at night and caused no casualties, though the building was destroyed. There has been no claim of responsibility thus far. Pakistan has experienced multiple bombings in recent weeks in the run-up to general elections on 11 May. (26 Apr 2013)
BOMBING TARGETS POLITICAL PARTY GATHERING IN KARACHI; PAKISTANI TALIBAN CLAIM RESPONSIBILITY
A bombing occurred during the evening of 26 April 2013 in the Mominabad area of Karachi’s Orangi town, targeting a meeting of the Awami National Party (ANP). The latest casualty count stands at six killed and 15 injured, but these numbers may change. The Tahrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the bombing. This is an ongoing development, and further details are likely to emerge in the coming hours and into 27 April.
This is the latest in a series of bombings that have targeted political parties in Karachi in recent days. On 23 and 25 April bombings occurred near offices of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) in different parts of the city; the TTP claimed responsibility for at least one of those attacks. As FrontierMEDEX has stated on several occasions in recent days, there is an increased threat of violence in Karachi in the run-up to the general elections, which are scheduled for 11 May. The Taliban have specifically threatened the ANP, the MQM and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), as these parties generally advocate a harder line against Islamic radicalism in Pakistan.
In terms of immediate effects from the 26 April bombing, travelers and expatriates in Karachi should expect disruptions in the city’s Orangi town and nearby areas due to rescue and security operations. In addition to the high threat of further bombings and other acts of violence, as addressed above, travelers and expatriates should be aware of the possibility of protests and/or strikes in the coming days in reaction to the ongoing attacks. These protest actions can significantly affect day-to-day activities and may themselves generate acts of violence.
Travelers and expatriates should avoid the Mominabad area and — if possible — Orangi town for the time being. Individuals who plan to be in Karachi between now and 11 May — as well as on the days immediately following the election — should avoid political rallies, election facilities and political party offices so as to minimize the chances of being collaterally affected by bombings or other acts of violence. Travelers and expatriates should seek to obtain prior information about any strikes, and — to the extent possible — should avoid travel to and within Karachi on strike days. (26 Apr 2013)
PROTEST DISRUPTS TRANSPORTATION IN KARACHI’S LYARI TOWN
Residents of Karachi’s Lyari town staged disruptive protests on 25 April 2013 against the killings of three suspected kidnappers on 23 April. The protesters blocked several major roads and bridges, disrupting access to Kiamari town and Karachi’s port. Among the roads and bridges that were closed or significantly affected were II Chundrigar Road, Maulvi Tamizuddin Khan Road, Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road, MR Kayani Road, Maulana Din Mohammad Wafai Road, Sarwar Shaheed Road, Elander Road, Mai Kolachi Road, Jinnah Bridge and ICI Bridge. The closures of Mai Kolachi Road and Jinnah Bridge ended in the evening, while ICI Bridge remained blocked until late at night. There were no reports of violence during the protests.
On the night of 22-23 April security officials carried out a raid in Lyari in an attempt to free a student who had been kidnapped on 22 April in the Karachi Zoological Gardens area. A gunbattle ensued, during which three of the suspected kidnapper and a passerby were killed. The kidnappers, who allegedly belong to a known criminal gang, also killed the kidnapped student. (26 Apr 2013)
PERU (Security threat level – )
HOT AIR BALLOON MISHAP IN PERU
A hot air balloon, carrying seven people, fell into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Peru on 28 April 2013. Five of the passengers were rescued, but the pilot of the balloon and an additional passenger remain missing; a rescue team has been deployed to search for the missing people. According to the Interior Ministry, none of the passengers was wearing life vests at the time of the accident. The owner of the hot air balloon company believes that strong winds carried the balloon off course. (28 Apr 2013)
PHILIPPINES (Security threat level – )
NPA PERPETRATES SERIES OF ABDUCTIONS IN MINDANAO
On 26 April 2013 Philippine army officials warned their field units in Mindanao that the New People’s Army (NPA) rebel group has perpetrated a series of abductions in the region. Officials believe that the group is deliberately surveilling and targeting soldiers in government development projects in rural barangays. Earlier in the week rebels kidnapped a soldier in Barangay Elizalde, which is located in Maco town in the Compostela Valley province. Officials are urging field unit commanders to implement security precautions to prevent such kidnappings. (26 Apr 2013)
U.S. EMBASSY ISSUES MESSAGE AHEAD OF 13 MAY ELECTIONS
On 26 April 2013 the U.S. Embassy in Manila issued the following Security Message:
“The U.S. Embassy reminds U.S. citizens in the Philippines that May 13 is a national and local election day in the Philippines. Philippine authorities have taken steps to reduce the possibility of election-related disturbances before, during, and after May 13. Philippine authorities have implemented a ban on bearing, carrying, and transporting firearms in areas around polling places. They are also expected to establish increased checkpoints staffed by both Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
We remind U.S. citizens to remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings, assess their personal security, avoid public gatherings in connection with the May 13 elections, and avoid demonstrations. As a reminder, even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. The Embassy also wishes to remind U.S. citizens to pay attention to the local news media and Philippine government announcements regarding possible election-related disturbances and any additional security measures imposed during the election period.” (26 Apr 2013)
LABOR GROUP TO RALLY IN MENDIOLA, MANILA
The umbrella labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno will hold a rally in Manila April 29 to call on the government to increase wages. The gathering will take place on Mendiola Street near Malacanang Palace.

ROMANIA (Security threat level – )
U.S. EMBASSY IN BUCHAREST ISSUES SECURITY MESSAGE
The U.S. Embassy in Bucharest issued the following Security Message on 26 April 2013:
“Date: April 27, 2013
Saturday, April 27, 2013 from 11:00-13:30.
The Motor Free Riders Association is organizing this Saturday from 11:00 to 13:30 a march on wheels, followed by a concert.
The affected areas are: Romexpo Complex (Piata Presei Square) – Montreal Square Kiseleff Road –Victoriei Square – Victoriei Avenue – Natiunile Unite Bridge – Natiunile Unite Blvd. – Libertatii Blvd. – Constitution Square (Piata Constitutiei).
They are expecting approximately 5,000 persons to participate, around 500 on motorcycles and mopeds, and 2,000 on bicycles.” (26 Apr 2013)
RUSSIA (Security threat level – )
RUSSIAN AUTHORITIES ARREST 140 SUSPECTED ISLAMIC MILITANTS IN SOUTHERN MOSCOW
Russian authorities conducted a raid on the Dar al-Arkam mosque in southern Moscow on 26 April 2013, detaining 140 people, including approximately 30 foreign nationals. All of those detained are suspected of being members of Islamic extremist groups. Suspected militants from the North Caucasus region have visited the mosque in the past. (26 Apr 2013)
RAINFALL AND STREET CLOSURES RESULT IN TRAFFIC DELAYS IN MOSCOW
Significant traffic disruptions occurred in Moscow on the evening of 25 April 2013 as a result of heavy rainfall and street closures related to Victory Day parade rehearsals. Reports described the situation as “one of the worst traffic jams in Moscow’s history.” Tverskaya Street, Novy Arbat, part of the Garden Ring and a number of major highways were closed starting at 1800 local time, as military equipment was transported to the rehearsal. The parade is set to take place on 9 May, and additional rehearsals will take place the evening of 29 April, the evening of 3 May and during the day on 7 May. While rainfall was a large contributing factor to the traffic disruptions, travelers to Moscow should allow extra time for travel on these days due to potential delays. (25 Apr 2013)
RALLY HELD ON REVOLUTION SQUARE IN CENTRAL MOSCOW
A demonstration against the adoption of a juvenile justice system was held on Revolution Square in central Moscow on the night of 25 April 2013. Approximately 1,000 people participated in the action, which was organized by the Union of Patriotic Associations of Parents and had city sanction. They also rallied against the ratification of the Council of Europe’s Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse due to concerns with certain articles. No incidents of violence or serious disruptions were reported during the action. (25 Apr 2013)
SERBIA (Security threat level – )
PROTEST HELD IN BELGRADE
On 26 April 2013 protesters gathered at the parliament building in Belgrade as the legislature debated an EU-negotiated agreement between Kosovo and Serbia. The protesters, organized by right-wing civil society groups, gathered in front of the building and called on the legislators to reject the agreement. Police blocked the front and rear of the building to prevent entry; no clashes were reported during the protest. (26 Apr 2013)

SOUTH SUDAN (Security threat level – )
REBELS IN SOUTH SUDAN SURRENDER TO GOVERNMENT
According to reports on 25 April 2013 more than 1,000 rebels from the South Sudan Liberation Movement (SSLM) pledged to surrender to the government. The South Sudanese government offered rebel groups amnesty, and the fighters will not face prosecution. In addition to laying down their arms, the SSLM will also surrender 64 vehicles to the government. (25 Apr 2013)
ST. LUCIA / LESSER ANTILLES (Security threat levels – )
TWO U.S. TOURISTS SURVIVE BOAT SINKING OFF THE COAST OF ST. LUCIA
On 26 April 2013 two U.S. tourists reported that they had survived a boat sinking off the north coast of St. Lucia on 21 April. The boat reportedly sank after water rushed into the cabin and flooded the engine room while the tourists were fishing approximately 8 mi/13 km off shore. The two tourists were separated from the captain and first mate as they swam to shore. The pair reportedly swam for 12 to 14 hours before making it on shore. The captain and fist mate were rescued after nearly 23 hours in the water. All four people were hospitalized for dehydration and other minor injuries. An investigation has been launched into what caused the boat to sink. (26 Apr 2013)
SUDAN (Security threat level – )
REBELS ATTACK CITY IN NORTH KORDOFAN STATE
Rebels belonging to the Darfur-based Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) attacked the city of Um Rawaba in neighboring North Kordofan state on 27 April 2013. The city is located 300 mi/500 km south of the capital Khartoum, and is North Kordofan’s second largest city. The Sudanese army claimed later on 27 April that it had retaken the city after several hours of fighting. (27 Apr 2013)
SYRIA (Security threat level – )
SYRIAN PRIME MINISTER SURVIVES BOMB BLAST
A bomb blast targeting the Syrian prime minister’s convoy occurred on 29 April 2013 in the Mazzeh district of Damascus. Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi was not harmed in the attack, but according to local reports his bodyguard may have been killed. An additional six people were killed in what appears to have been a suicide bombing. (29 Apr 2013)
TUNISIA (Security threat level – )
PROTEST DISRUPTS TRAFFIC AT TOLL STATION IN HERGLA
Significant traffic disruptions occurred at a toll station in Hergla on the Tunis-Sousse motorway on 26 April 2013 due to a sit-in protest. Demonstrators from Tunisie Autoroutes gathered to protest for a second consecutive day to demand various reforms from the company. Traffic on the motorway was blocked from 0830 to 0930 local time (0730 to 0830 UTC). (26 Apr 2013)
TURKEY (Security threat level – )
MAY DAY RALLIES IN INSTANBUL AND MULTIPLE CITIES
Four of Turkey’s largest labor organizations plan to stage mass rallies in a number of cities across the country May 1 as part of the May Day (International Workers Day) observance. The largest of these demonstrations will most likely take place in Istanbul, where the date is also the anniversary of the so-called “Taksim Square Massacre” of 1977 — an incident in which 34 persons died and over 100 were injured as police attempted to disperse a mass protest in the city’s center. The organizers’ application for a permit to hold their 2013 gathering at Taksim Square has been denied by Istanbul’s provincial governor on the grounds that the location is currently unsuitable for that purpose due to ongoing construction projects. However, labor groups, including the Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions of Turkey (DISK), have responded by declaring their resolve to move ahead with their plan to rally at the square despite the permit’s having been refused.
Given this situation, authorities will likely deploy a heavy security presence in central Istanbul May 1. Violence could break out if police resort to the use of force in an attempt to prevent demonstrators from entering Taksim Square. Most rallies scheduled to take place elsewhere in Turkey will likely be peaceful; however, isolated clashes with police cannot be ruled out completely. Details announced for May Day events in locations other than Istanbul are as follows:
• Ankara: Rally in front of the YKM store at Kizilay Square (no time announced)
• Antalya: Protesters to assemble at Aydin Kanza Park at 1400 before marching to Ataturk Park
• Batman: Demonstrators to meet at Ataturk Park before marching to Basin Kavsagi (Press Circle)
• Bursa: Protesters to assemble in front of Ataturk Stadium at 1300 before marching to Kent Meydani (Town Square) at 1400
• Izmir: Demonstrators will gather at the Sumerbank branch at Cumhuriyet Bulvari, No. 67 before marching to the Kemeralti Market
UGANDA (Security threat level – )
UGANDA ON HIGH ALERT OVER TERRORIST THREAT
Ugandan authorities announced on 26 April 2013 that they had received information that the Islamic militant militia al-Shabab was planning an attack in east Africa and Uganda in particular. Al-Shabab struck the Ugandan capital city of Kampala in July 2010 with bombings at a sports bar and restaurant during the FIFA Soccer World Cup. The attacks killed 76 people and injured 70 more. Uganda was the first country to deploy troops with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), where al-Shabab is based. (26 Apr 2013)
UNITED STATES (Security threat level – )
ATTACK AT SUNDAY MASS LEAVES FOUR INJURED
Toward the end of mass on 28 April 2013 at the St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church in Albuqurque, New Mexico, a 24-year old man attacked churchgoers, stabbing four of them. Those injured are being treated at a hospital but are not in critical condition. Police officers arrived at the scene and detained the perpetrator. Motives for the attack are still unknown. (28 Apr 2013)
FAA SUSPENDS EMPLOYEE FURLOUGHS
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced on 27 April 2013 that it had suspended all employee furloughs and that air traffic facilities would return to normal staffing levels over the next 24 hours. Normal operations are expected to be restored by the night of 28 April. Budget cuts due to sequestration had furloughed many FAA employees, leading to airport delays. (27 Apr 2013)
U.S. SENATE APPROVES LEGISLATION TO END AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER FURLOUGHS
On 25 April 2013 the U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation that would allow the Transportation Department to end air traffic controller furloughs for the remainder of the federal budget year (or until 30 September). The move comes one week after widespread flight delays were reported at major airport hubs across the country, prompting a heavy public backlash. More than 863 flight delays linked to the air traffic controller furloughs were reported on 25 April alone. The House is expected to vote on the bill on 26 April. (25 Apr 2013)
VENEZUELA (Security threat level – )

VOTE AUDIT TO COMMENCE ON 6 MAY 2013
Venezuela’s electoral council announced on 28 April 2013 that it will begin auditing of votes cast in the presidential election on 6 May. Despite opposition demands, the body will not conduct a full recount of the votes. The audit is expected to take just under 30 days. (28 Apr 2013)

YEMEN (Security threat level – )
PROTESTS EXPECTED OUTSIDE U.S. EMBASSY
Protests are expected on 29 April 2013 in front of the U.S. Embassy in Sana against U.S. drone strikes and airstrikes in Yemen, which have killed several militants and civilians in the past months. No further details are available regarding the planned protest. (28 Apr 2013)
MASSIVE DEMONSTRATIONS IN ADEN
Thousands of people took to the streets of Aden and other southern cities in Yemen on 27 April 2013, the anniversary of the start of the 1994 civil war, which ended in the re-unification of North and South Yemen. No violence occurred during the demonstration in Aden. Separatist sentiment remains strong in southern Yemen and is represented primarily by the Southern Movement (known also as al-Hirak). Al-Hirak’s founder addressed participants at the rally, expressing support for attempts at the ongoing National Dialogue Conference (NDC) to resolve the southern issue but reiterating demands for self-determination. (27 Apr 2013)
MILITARY INTELLIGENCE OFFICIAL ASSASSINATED
Suspected Islamist militants shot and killed the head of military intelligence in Hadramawt Province on 27 April 2013 outside his home in Mukalla, located on the Arabian Sea. Military and security officials are common targets for militants in Yemen. More than 60 such officials have been killed in southern and eastern Yemen in the last two years. (27 Apr 2013)
Significant Dates
29 April
Japan: Showa Day (Public holiday)
30 April
Finland: May Day Eve (Some businesses close early)
Netherlands: Queen’s Day
Vietnam: Liberation/Reunification Day (Public holiday)
1 May
Haiti: Labor and Agriculture Day
Kazakhstan: Kazakhstan People’s Unity Day (Public holiday)
Slovenia: Reformation Day
Worldwide: May Day / International Labor Day
2 May
Bhutan: Birthday of 3rd Druk Gyalpo
Georgia: Kutaisi City Day (Public celebrations held in Kutaisi)
Spain: Day of the Autonomous Community (Madrid Province and city only)

THREAT LEVEL DEFINITIONS
– Security issues rarely affect individuals or organizations. These locations have an extremely low rate of violent crime.
– Locations may have several low-level security issues, but these generally have minimal physical impact on individuals and organizations.
– Incidents of violent crime, terrorism and/or extremist activity occur more frequently, but are still sporadic.
– Incidents such as armed robbery, carjacking, civil unrest, terrorism and/or extremist activity can occur frequently, and there is a greater risk that security issues could physically impact individuals and organizations.
– Locations can be affected by rampant violent crime, volatile situations of civil unrest, frequent terrorist extremist attacks and/or open military conflict.

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