In August 1999, Islamic rebels from Tajikistan invaded southern Kyrgyzstan and abducted four Japanese for two months. Just last month the same rebels launched another offensive, fighting pitched battles with the army, taking four American mountain climbers hostage, who later escaped, and forcing the evacuation of a German climbing team. The group is attempting to carve out an Islamic state in the Fergana Valley, a region where the borders of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan converge. These border areas should be avoided, as well as all regions in Kyrgyzstan to the south and west of the provincial capital of Osh.
In Uzbekistan, conflict continues along the Tajikistan border in the Surkhandarya region, and authorities have evacuated people in the region northeast of Tashkent. Expect road closures or frequent roadblocks and inspections if traveling near border areas. Security has been tightened throughout the country to counter a heightened terrorist threat.