ASIA China (Security threat level – 3): On 23 November...
Finland / Russia (Security threat levels – 2 / 5): On 16 August 2022, the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement announcing new limitations on the number of Russian visas to Finland as of 1 September in response to Russian military actions in Ukraine. Foreign Ministry officials will reduce daily visa appointments for Russian travelers by 90% — from 1,000 to 500 — and limit the number of tourist visas to 100 per day. Most European Union (EU) leaders, including the Finnish and Estonian prime ministers, support an EU-wide ban on Russian visas; however, some EU leaders disagree with the ban due to concerns regarding potential obstacles for Russians seeking political asylum in Europe.
United Kingdom (Security threat level – 3): At approximately 0920 local time (0820 UTC) on 17 August 2022, a massive fire broke out under a railway track arch on Union Street in London’s Southwark borough, prompting a temporary closure of train lines between the Waterloo East and London Bridge train stations. Multiple buildings in the area were evacuated due to the blaze, which destroyed a number of vehicles parked in the area. Approximately 70 firefighters, equipped with 10 firefighting trucks, deployed to the scene and extinguished the blaze. There were no reports of fire-related injuries. An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the blaze. All affected train lines have resumed services but delays or cancellations of trains operating between the two aforementioned stations are expected to continue until 1500 local time.
United States (Security threat level – 2): Shortly before 1900 local time (2300 UTC) on 16 August 2022, at least two gunmen riding in a vehicle fired almost 100 rounds at a group of individuals gathered outside the Shepard Recreation Center in the Haddington neighborhood of West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, wounding five people. While attempting to flee the scene, the assailants crashed their vehicle at a nearby intersection. Police officers apprehended three people and confiscated multiple firearms from the vehicle. The motive for the shooting is under investigation.
Thailand (Security threat level – 3): During the night of 16-17 August 2022, at least 17 explosions occurred at multiple convenience stores in the southern provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat — all located near the Thailand-Malaysia border. Multiple assailants detonated improvised explosives and other incendiary devices, sparking fires at convenience store fueling stations throughout the region. In the Yaha district, located in Yala province, a man dressed in women’s clothing entered a 7-Eleven store and ordered customers and staff to evacuate the premises before detonating an explosive device. In the Nong Chik district, located in Pattani province, an explosion occurred at a Bangchak fuel station that caught fire and sustained extensive damage. Two attacks occurred in Pattani, six in Yala, and nine more transpired in Narathiwat. At least seven people were injured in the coordinated assaults. No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks; however, local militant groups frequently conduct attacks in Thailand’s southern region. According to a senior military official, the attacks were aimed at disrupting local economies in the region.
Moldova (Security threat level – 2): On 17 August 2022, the U.S. Embassy in Chisinau issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows: “Bomb threats have been reported at the Chisinau International Airport, Chisinau City Hall, and various shopping malls throughout Chisinau today, August 17, 2022. Locations have been evacuated and Moldovan police are investigating each location. Please monitor local news sources for updates.
“Bomb threats have been reported recently in various locations in Moldova. Moldovan police investigating each of the reported bomb threats were able to clear the locations and never found evidence of a bomb. These recent incidents underscore the need to exercise good situational awareness and report anything suspicious to local authorities.”