India says it's safe despite US travel advisory
Embassy in New Delhi reminds US citizens of the "high threat of terrorism" in India. -AFP
NEW DELHI (AFP) - India insisted Thursday it was a safe travel destination after the United States issued a reminder to US citizens that they face a "high threat of terrorism" in the South Asian country.
The US embassy in New Delhi said it wished "to urgently remind all US citizens resident in or traveling to India that there is a high threat from terrorism throughout India."
The advisory was posted Tuesday on the US embassy official website.
Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram said he would instruct the Indian foreign ministry to try and "persuade" the United States to withdraw the notice.
"India is a completely safe country. India is a safe place, it is safer than any other country in the world. Thousands of tourists come to India and we look forward to welcoming them," Chidambaram told reporters.
India has suffered a series of militant attacks in the past few years which has left hundreds dead.
Americans, Britons, Israelis and several other foreigners were among 166 people killed and 300 injured when Islamist gunmen from Pakistan staged a three-day attack on India's financial hub Mumbai last November.
"As terror attacks are a serious and growing threat, US citizens are urged to always practise good security, including maintaining a heightened situational awareness and a low profile," the US advisory added.
"We will try to find out why this advisory was issued," Chidambaram said of the warning which also asked US citizens "to be vigilant at all times and vary their routes and times in carrying out daily activities."
A US embassy official, who did not wish to be identified, said the warning was nothing "out of the ordinary" and was a standard statement which the United States periodically issues to its citizens.
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