London: The U.S. State Department has issued a travel warning alerting Americans to risk of potential terrorist attacks throughout Europe, targeting major events, tourist sites, restaurants, commercial centres and transportation.
The Travel Alert that expires on August 31, 2016 states that the large number of tourists visiting Europe in the summer months presents greater targets for terrorists planning attacks in public locations, especially at large events.
In particular, the warning draws attention to the European Soccer Championship from June 10th to July 10th and the Tour de France cycling race which will be held from July 2nd to 24th in France, as well as the Catholic Church's World Youth Day event in Krakow, Poland, between July 26th and July 31st, which is expected to attract up to 2.5 million visitors.
According to the Guardian, the alert came just hours after the French president, FranÃ§ois Hollande, said that terrorism remained the biggest threat to the UEFA Euro 2016 football championship, which is scheduled in June and July.
The travel alert follows terrorist attacks in November in Paris and in March in Brussels, which killed 130 and 32 people respectively. The US previously issued a global travel alert following the attacks in Paris, and issued a travel alert for Europe specially after the attacks in Brussels. In March, the State Department encouraged citizens to "exercise vigilance when in public places or using mass transportation".