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US issues travel warning for Bahamas over spike in murders since new year: ‘Keep a low profile’

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It may not be so safe in a tropical paradise. 

The U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas issued a warning and travel advisory to Americans on Wednesday, citing the 18 murders that have occurred on the island nation since Jan. 1. 

‘Murders have occurred at all hours including in broad daylight on the streets,’ the warning states. ‘Retaliatory gang violence has been the primary motive in 2024 murders.’

The embassy warned Americans traveling to the Bahamas to ‘exercise extreme caution’ in the eastern portion of New Providence Island and to keep a low profile. 

U.S. officials also urged those traveling to the island to not physically resist when being robbed and use caution when traveling at night. 

The State Department put the Bahamas on its ‘Exercise Increased Caution’ warning and said gang violence is behind the increase in murders. 

‘Violent crime, such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assaults,  occur in both tourist  and non-tourist  areas,’ the warning said. ‘Be vigilant when staying at short-term vacation rental properties  where private security companies do not have a presence. ’

Attempts to reach out to the Bahamian Embassy in Washington D.C., were unsuccessful. 

In response to the uptick in crime, Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis said authorities will put up roadblocks and initiate more police action, The Nassau Guardian reported. 

‘We will not violate anyone’s civil liberties, but you are likely to be impacted by more roadblocks and unannounced police action,’ he said. ‘This may make you late for your appointments, or delay plans you have, but this is a small price to pay for the collective benefit of having our streets made safer, and our lives less blighted by murder and other violent crimes.’

Earlier this week, the State Department put Jamaica on its ‘reconsider travel’ advisory. 

‘Violent crimes, such as home invasions, armed robberies, sexual assaults, and homicides, are common. Sexual assaults occur frequently, including at all-inclusive resorts,’ the warning states. ‘Local police often do not respond effectively to serious criminal incidents. When arrests are made, cases are infrequently prosecuted to a conclusive sentence.’

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