Travel risk round-up: 21 June

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Greece: Assailants Throw Molotov Cocktails at Police near Party Offices in Athens’ Exarchia Area

According to local media reports on Thursday, 20 June, unidentified assailants have thrown Molotov cocktails at police officers outside the offices of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) party in Athens’ Exarchia area. No injuries resulted from the attack and police have detained at least two people in connection with the incident. Other reports suggest that Molotov cocktails were also thrown at the offices of the Movement for Change (KINAL) in the same area, however, no injuries were reported as a result of the attack.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Members in Athens should monitor local media sources to remain apprised of any security operations in their particular area and heed any directives issued by police and local authorities. Members should exercise caution in the vicinity of party offices as these may act as focal points for political violence.


Moderate
Georgia: Dozens Injured in Continuing Protests in Central Tbilisi

According to local media sources on Friday, 21 June, at least 69 people have been injured in ongoing protests in central Tbilisi which started yesterday. Reports indicate that 30 of those injured took part in the protest while 39 were police officers. Several people have been arrested following last night when the protests turned into violent riots. Yesterday, demonstrators gathered outside the country’s parliament demanding the resignation of the head of the Ministry of Interior and the Speaker of Parliament as well as the holding of new elections. They called for these measures following the appearance of Russian MP Sergey Gavrilov at the General Inter-Parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy last night. Currently, dozens of protesters are still in the centre of the city and have started forming roadblocks across some of the major roads. More people are likely to turn up to the protests as the day progresses.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Members in Tbilisi are advised to avoid demonstrations and administrative buildings such as Parliament in order to lessen the chances of being victims of incidental violence and police crowd control. Members should also monitor local media sources for further information and adhere to any statements made by the authorities.


Moderate
Iraq: Foreign Staff Evacuated after Rocket Strikes Burjesia Residential and Operations Headquarters near Basra

According to emerging media reports, at least three Iraqi employees were wounded after a Katyusha rocket landed at the Burjesia residential and operations headquarters west of Basra early on Wednesday, 19 June. Early reports indicate that the rocket landed 100 metres (330ft) from the part of the site used as a residence and operations centre by US oil giant ExxonMobil. A local security official confirmed that ExxonMobil evacuated some 21 foreign staff immediately from the site, which also houses Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Italian Eni SpA. Further information is awaited.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Members are advised to avoid the vicinity of the incident scene in the immediate term and remain alert to any emergency directives issued by authorities. All travel outside of secure compounds in Iraq should be undertaken only in coordination with local authorities and trusted security providers.


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Venezuela: Multiple Fatalities Reported after Road Accident in Zulia State

According to international media sources, at least 18 people were killed on Sunday, 16 June, after the bus they were travelling on veered off the road in a rural part of Zulia state. It is believed that a further 29 people were injured and transferred to a hospital in nearby Villa del Rosario in Colombia. According to a preliminary investigation, a tire burst while the bus was travelling at an excessive speed. The bus was carrying 58 passengers in total. Investigations are still underway.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Those conducting overland travel should use reputable transport providers with professional drivers and well-maintained vehicles. All roads in Venezuela present dangers. While the geographic reach of the roads themselves is adequate, driving in general is quite hazardous. Night-time driving, in particular, is extremely dangerous and generally avoided even by locals.


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China: Multiple Fatalities and Scores Injured following Earthquakes in Sichuan Province

According to international media reports on Tuesday, 18 June, the death toll following two earthquakes in Sichuan province which occurred on Monday, 17 June, has risen to at least 11, with a further 122 people injured. Imagery on social media outlets shows structural damage to a number of buildings. Rescue response teams are conducting search and rescue operations. The quakes which measured 5.9 and 5.2 magnitudes, both centred near Changning county, were reportedly felt in key regional cities such as Chengdu and Chongqing.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Those with operations in the affected areas should be mindful of minor aftershocks and are advised to monitor local developments, including earthquake-related information that may affect travel and business continuity.