News: Warning to hotel guests

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The Independent Travel

Western governments are telling their staff not to stay in "identifiably Western hotels" in Indonesia. Following last week's bomb blast outside the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, the government in Canberra has told its officials to avoid such hotels in the Indonesian capital, while a "warden message" from the US State Department gives US citizens similar advice. In August last year, an attack on the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta killed 10 people.

Western governments are telling their staff not to stay in "identifiably Western hotels" in Indonesia. Following last week's bomb blast outside the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, the government in Canberra has told its officials to avoid such hotels in the Indonesian capital, while a "warden message" from the US State Department gives US citizens similar advice. In August last year, an attack on the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta killed 10 people.

"We continue to receive reports that terrorists in the region are planning attacks against a range of targets, including places frequented by foreigners," says the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs. International fast-food outlets, bars and transport hubs are thought to be vulnerable.

In advance of next Monday's presidential run-off election in Indonesia, the US State Department has issued unusually specific advice for Jakarta, telling American citizens to avoid the Kuningan area and apartment buildings near the Pasar Festival Mall. Washington warns that anti-Western terrorism is not the only threat to visitors: "Sectarian, ethnic, communal and separatist violence continue to threaten personal safety and security in several areas."

The Foreign Office this week said: "We are aware that terrorists in Indonesia continue to plan further attacks on Westerners and Western interests", but has stopped short of putting the country back on the blacklist of places to avoid.

* British visitors to Dubai are being warned of "a high threat from terrorism" in the Emirate. Dubai is by far the most popular holiday destination in the Gulf, attracting around half a million UK visitors each year. The Foreign Office is citing an al-Qa'ida website that has threatened attacks on Westerners in the Gulf states.

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