Worldview Security Update – July 30, 2019
30-Jul-19

ASIA

China (Security threat level – 3) : On the morning of 30 July 2019, anti-government protesters in Hong Kong caused disruptions to services at a number of train stations on the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) network. Train services between Causeway Bay station and Tai Koo Station on the Island Line were temporarily halted. Additionally, minor delays occurred at the Tiu Keng Leng, Kwun Tong, Tseung Kwan O and Mong Kok stations during the morning rush hour. In addition, approximately 25 protesters entered the MTR station in Admiralty and prevented a train from leaving the station, during which a minor scuffle occurred between a passenger and protesters. There were no other reports of clashes, and MTR services resumed normal operations by 1130 local time (0330 UTC). Meanwhile, MTR operated buses to transport the affected passengers, which resulted in notable traffic congestion on the island’s major thoroughfares, including Connaught Road.
In a related development, a small number of protesters gathered in the Arrivals Hall of Terminal 2 at Hong Kong International Airport (VHHH/HKG) at approximately 1300 local time before moving to the Arrivals Hall of Terminal 1 to spread their message regarding the ongoing pro-democracy movement to foreign travelers. Airport operations were unaffected.

Pakistan (Security threat level – 5): At approximately 0200 local time (0700 UTC) on 30 July 2019, a military aircraft crashed into a home in a residential neighborhood in the village of Mora Kalu, located on the outskirts of Rawalpindi city, adjacent to the capital Islamabad. The burning wreckage from the King Air 350 turboprop aircraft then set ablaze a number of nearby homes. At least 17 people were killed, including five crew members and 12 civilians on the ground. At least 12 others were injured. The aircraft was conducting a training flight when it suddenly lost contact with air traffic controllers and crashed into the site. The cause of the crash remains unknown.

EUROPE

Spain (Security threat level – 3): Renfe rail workers are expected to observe a planned nationwide strike from 1200-1600 local time (1000-1400 UTC) and 2000-2400 local time on 31 July 2019. In response, Renfe officials have announced cancellations of a number of trains and warned passengers to check that their train is still running as scheduled. Furthermore, officials have advised passengers to prepare for disruptions, as delays of up to four hours are expected on 31 July. CGT union leaders called for the labor action to demand better working conditions and a reduction of the weekly work period to 37.5 hours. The union has also announced additional strikes on 14 August, 31 August and 1 September; thus far, Renfe officials have canceled a total of 1,152 trains ahead of the four announced strike days.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Libya (Security threat level – 5): On 29 July 2019, Mitiga Internaitonal Airport (HLLM/MJI) halted flight operations following two consecutive episodes of rocket attacks on the facility. The airport was temporarily closed earlier on 29 July after several rockets targeted the airport. Shortly after resuming operations, another round of rockets targeted the airport, forcing authorities to suspend operations. There were no reports of casualties. Airport officials expect to resume operations at the facility by the morning of 31 July.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

South Africa (Security threat level – 4): On 30 July 2019, members of the South African Municipal Workers’ Union gathered in Pretoria’s Central Business District (CBD) for a second consecutive day to demand an 18% increase in their wages. During the morning hours, bus drivers reportedly parked and abandoned at least 30 buses throughout the CBD and near Tshwane City House in an effort to block traffic. In response to the strike, city officials suspended all bus services in Tshwane municipality — which comprises Pretoria — on 30 July. Authorities have ordered police officers to tow any abandoned vehicles and to assist in directing traffic flows in the CBD; however, minor traffic disruptions could persist throughout the day. Negotiations between city officials and union leaders are ongoing to resolve the wage dispute.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Cabo Verde (Security threat level – 2): On 29 July 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Praia issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows: “The mayor of Praia, Óscar Santos, was shot on Monday, July 29, 2019, at approximately 5:30 a.m. near the Health Club Korpore gym in the neighborhood of Palmajero in Praia, Cabo Verde. The Cabo Verdean police are currently investigating the incident. The motive is unknown and no suspects have been detained.

"U.S. government personnel and U.S. citizens are advised to maintain vigilance and be aware of their surroundings.”