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Mideast countries warn citizens on U.S. travel amid protests

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Two Mideast countries are warning citizens traveling in the United States to be careful around protests over police shootings. There has also been a reported uptick in violence against Muslims throughout the country as the issue of Muslims in the U.S. takes center stage during the 2016 presidential race.

A "special alert" issued by the United Arab Emirates Embassy to Washington on Saturday urged citizens to stay away from demonstrations in U.S. cities. State news agency WAM said the warning followed a protest by supporters of the "Black Lives Matter" movement in Washington on Friday.

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The island kingdom of Bahrain issued its own advisory on Twitter, telling nationals to be "cautious of protests or crowded areas."

The U.S. State Department routinely issues travel advisories for Americans abroad. On Friday, the Bahamas put out its own advisory about U.S. travel, saying young men especially should "exercise extreme caution in affected cities in their interactions with the police."

Last week, the American ambassador to the United Arab Emirates expressed regret over the handcuffing of an Emirati man wearing traditional garments in Ohio over terrorism fears.

Ambassador Barbara Leaf said in a Facebook post on Monday that Emirati national Ahmed al-Menhali endured an "unfortunate incident" when police detained and searched him at gunpoint last week after a hotel clerk raised suspicions he could have links to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

He was wearing a traditional white kandura, or ankle-length robe, and headscarf at the hotel.

Officials in the Cleveland suburb of Avon have apologized to the man. The Emirates responded to the incident by summoning U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Ethan Goldrich and warning its citizens to avoid wearing traditional garments when traveling abroad.

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