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US issues travel warning ahead of Euro 2016 in France

The US State Department has cautioned Americans about traveling to Euro 2016 in France this summer. Not only stadiums but venues broadcasting the tournament could be potential targets, the warning said.

The United States has issued a warning to its citizens planning on traveling to France this summer. The Euro 2016 soccer tournament could be a likely target for violence, the Department of State said.

"Euro Cup stadiums, fan zones, and unaffiliated entertainment venues broadcasting the tournaments in France and across Europe represent potential targets for terrorists," the State Department wrote in a travel alert.

"The large number of tourists visiting Europe in the summer months will present greater targets for terrorists planning attacks in public locations, especially at large events," the advisory noted.

France extends state of emergency

France is hosting the UEFA Euro 2016 championships from June 10 to July 10. The French government has

extended its state of emergency

, originally implemented in the wake of the November 2015 Paris attacks, to the end of July. This will see boosted security across the country through the soccer tournament and the end of the Tour de France national cycling event on July 26.

Last month, Patrick Calvar, head of the French General Directorate for Internal Security, told legislators that France is "clearly targeted" by militants with the so-called "Islamic State" group and that the country should be prepared for a "new form of attack."

The State Department's warning also included the Catholic Church's World Youth Day, which is expected to draw some 2.5 million visitors to Krakow, Poland, at the end of July.

"Poland will impose border controls at all of its national borders from July 4 to August 2, and visitors to Poland during this period should be prepared to show their passport and undergo stricter security screening throughout Poland," the statement read.

Later, the State Department issued a follow-up statement hoping to curb any panic. It added that the government was not aware of any specific credible threat to the soccer tournament, the Tour de France or World Youth Day.

es/jm (AFP, Reuters)

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