Trouble spots

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The Independent Travel
This week's advice from our man in the Foreign Office

Russia: the advice remains the same as it was before this week's killing of British businessman in a St Petersburg hotel. "Incidents of mugging, theft and pick-pocketing are increasing in all cities, especially St Petersburg and Moscow. Be vigilant and dress down. Be particularly wary in Moscow of groups of young vagrants."

Sri Lanka: "Fighting is continuing in the north and east. Do not visit these areas. The south and centre, including all the main tourist areas and the 'Cultural Triangle', remain largely unaffected. Further information may be obtained direct from the British High Commission in Colombo (tel 437336, fax 430308).

Yemen: "Armed theft of vehicles, particularly of four-wheel-drive models, is not uncommon. The risk of random kidnapping remains. In January 1996 a group of French tourists was held. As in other incidents the tourists were released unharned after several days. There remains some danger from mines laid during the civil war in the southern and eastern governornates."

Ethiopia: "Visitors should confine themselves to the recognised tourist areas including the Rift Valley lakes, Addis Ababa and the Highland tourist route. Avoid travel after dark and take accommodation only in the larger towns. "

Foreign Office travel advice is available on 0171-270 4129; on BBC-2 Ceefax page 564 onwards; and on the Internet at