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Terror threat prompts Sweden travel warning

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Terror threat prompts Sweden travel warning
16:08 CEST+02:00
Sweden's foreign ministry has issued a new warning to travelers in light of the increased threat of terrorist attacks in Europe.

"In light of the heightened threat of terrorist attacks in Europe, the Swedish Foreign Ministry calls on travellers to observe increased vigilance and caution," it said in a statement.

The ministry called on Swedish travellers to the rest of Europe to be on alert "in public places, in and around public buildings, at tourist attractions, on public transport and in other places with large crowds."

However, the ministry stopped short of advising Swedes against going ahead with their travel plans, echoing similar precautions issued recently by the United States and the UK.

In addition, the ministry advises people to stay informed regarding developments in the countries to which they are traveling and to follow local authorities' security recommendations.

The foreign ministry's advisory is directed primarily toward travel within Europe.

“We haven't done what some other have and pinpointed certain European countries, rather we've issued a rather broad precautionary warning, in which we also point to what sort of recommendations local authorities have issued,” foreign ministry spokesperson Cecila Julin told the TT news agency.

As the ministry isn't formally advising against travel, the new advisory doesn't give travelers the right to cancel scheduled travel plans, such as charter trips, Julin added.

Sweden's travel alert comes shortly after Japan on Monday warned its nationals living or travelling in Europe, of "possible terrorist attacks" by Al-Qaeda and affiliated groups.

On Sunday, the US State Department issued a formal alert warning Americans traveling in Europe to remain vigilant against "potential for terrorist attacks" and urging precaution in public places and transportation systems.

France and Britain immediately voiced support for the security statement, which said "current information suggests that Al-Qaeda and affiliated organisations continue to plan terrorist attacks."

Sweden was also among the three countries singled out on Sunday by the British Foreign Office for an increased risk of a terrorist attack. The other two countries are France and Germany, where UK authorities judged the threat-level as "high", while for Sweden the threat is described as "general".

Last week, Sweden's intelligence agency Säpo warned that the threat of "terrorism targeting Sweden" had increased and that it had raised the threat level from "low to elevated".

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