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Overseas Security Advisory Council
Bureau of Diplomatic Security
U.S. Department of State

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Security Alert: Kabul (Afghanistan) Increased Security For Massoud Day and Ashura Holiday

Location: Kabul, Afghanistan

Event:  Massoud Day and the Ashura religious holiday will occur on September 9, 2019.  An increase in Afghan Security Forces in Kabul and other major cities is expected.  Large celebratory crowds may gather at Massoud Circle, adjacent to the U.S. Embassy, on Massoud Day.  Celebratory gunfire is likely in major cities.  Historically, groups of vehicles travel across Kabul City discharging small arms fire throughout the day.  Large gatherings and vehicle convoys present an elevated risk of attacks.   For the religious holiday of Ashura, expect celebrations and rituals to begin on the afternoon of September 9, 2019 and last throughout September 10.  Attacks directed against the Shia community, primarily at mosques, religious shrines, and large gatherings have occurred in the past.

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul will be closed on Monday, September 9, 2019 in observance of Massoud Day and the Ashura religious holiday.

Actions to Take:

  • Avoid crowds.
  • Avoid demonstrations
  • Monitor local media for updates.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.

Assistance:

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