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Worldview Security Update – August 7, 2019
7-Aug-19

AMERICAS

Honduras (Security threat level – 4): On 6 August 2019, police officers clashed with anti-government protesters in the downtown area of Tegucigalpa, the capital. Security personnel deployed tear gas and water cannons in an attempt to disperse the protesters, who set ablaze at least three buildings in the city center. In response, protesters attacked riot police officers with sticks and stones. At least five people were injured during the clashes and police officers detained a number of protesters. The demonstrators had marched along Suyapa Boulevard — a major thoroughfare — to the city center to demand the resignation of President Juan Orlando Hernández due to his alleged ties with drug traffickers. The National Congress of Honduras later called for an emergency meeting to decide what measures the government should take in response to the protests. While no protests are planned for 7 August, related sporadic protests may occur in Tegucigalpa and elsewhere in the country.

ASIA

Afghanistan (Security threat level – 5): At approximately 0900 local time (0430 UTC) on 7 August 2019, a suicide attacker detonated a car bomb outside a police station located in Kabul’s Golaee Dawa Khana area, in the city’s police district 6. The large-scale explosion caused damage to nearby homes and killed at least 14 people, including four police officers and 10 civilians. Approximately 150 others were injured in the blast. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

India (Security threat level – 3): On 7 August 2019, sporadic protests broke out in Kashmir amid tightened security following the government’s decision to rescind the special status of Jammu and Kashmir state. Telecommunications restrictions remain in place and small localized protests were reported. Many of the protesters were youths who threw stones at security personnel. Security forces responded by firing tear gas and pepper spray to disperse the demonstrators. There were no reports of injuries or arrests. Meanwhile in Srinagar, the majority of shops are closed and streets remain deserted for a third day in a row. In addition, armed federal police officers have established checkpoints across the city. Although not officially declaring a curfew, authorities in Kashmir are restricting non-essential travel, and are banning gatherings of more than four people, resulting in a de facto curfew.

Japan (Security threat level – 1): According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), as of 0900 UTC on 7 August 2019, Tropical Storm Francisco was located approximately 305 km (190 mi) northeast of Seoul, South Korea, in the Sea of Japan, and was moving north-northeast at 30 kph (18 mph). The storm was generating maximum sustained winds of 65 kph with gusts of up to 83 kph. Francisco is expected to further weaken as it crosses the Sea of Japan, but is expected to make a second landfall along the coastal areas of the Shakotan Peninsula located on Hokkaido Island near Sapporo by the early hours of 8 August. Heavy rainfall and subsequent flashfloods are possible on Hokkaido Island.

Japan / Taiwan (Security threat levels – 1 / 2): According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), as of 0900 UTC on 7 August 2019, Typhoon Lekima was located approximately 610 km (380 mi) south of Okinawa, Japan, and was moving north-northwest toward Taiwan at 13 kph (8 mph). At that time, Lekima was generating maximum sustained winds of 130 kph with gusts of up to 150 kph and waves of up to 7 m in height. The storm is currently forecast to pass over Japan’s southernmost Ryukyu Islands and come ashore in northeastern Taiwan by 9 August. Meteorologists forecast that Lekima will bring strong winds and heavy rains to both areas, which could potentially cause flooding and landslides.

EUROPE

Denmark (Security threat level – 2): On 6 August 2019, an explosion occurred at a tax office in the Nordhavn district of central Copenhagen. Police officers cordoned off the surrounding streets and temporarily suspended bus and train services through Nordhavn Station. At least one person was injured in the explosion. Nearby buildings were damaged in addition to the government building. Police officers have stated that the explosion was a deliberate attack on the building and are investigating its connection to terrorism.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Tanzania (Security threat level – 3): On 6 August 2019, a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff from Mafia Airport (HTMA/MFA), located on Mafia Island, off the central coast of Tanzania. Six of the nine passengers onboard the aircraft were hospitalized with injuries. The Dar es Salaam-bound aircraft — operated by Tropical Airlines — was destroyed in the crash. The Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) is investigating to determine the cause of the crash.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

China (Security threat level – 3): On 6 August 2019, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) upgraded its travel advice for Hong Kong to read in part as follows: “We have raised our advice level for Hong Kong: we now recommend you ‘exercise a high degree of caution’. Protests have become more unpredictable and are expected to continue. Tourist areas have been affected. There is a risk of violent confrontation between protestors and police, or criminally-linked individuals, particularly at unauthorised protests. The risk is greater at night and on weekends. We strongly recommend you avoid large public gatherings. Monitor local media and follow the advice of local authorities.”

Guatemala (Security threat level – 4): On 7 August 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice regarding the upcoming runoff presidential election, which reads in part as follows: "Guatemala held national elections on Sunday 16th June. The second round of Presidential elections will take place on 11th August. There may be heightened tensions in the run up to the Election Day, as well as immediately after. Avoid all political demonstrations and monitor local news channels."

Papua New Guinea (Security threat level – 4): On 7 August 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Papua New Guinea to include the following: “Mount Ulawun volcano erupted on 3 August. Air Niugini have suspended flights to Hoskins airport. Visitors should check with their airline/travel operator if visiting New Britain.”

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