WASHINGTON — The State Department is warning U.S. citizens against traveling to Mali and is authorizing the voluntary departure of eligible family members and non-emergency personnel from the U.S. Embassy in the African nation's capital.

The department is also urging Americans already in Mali to "review their personal safety and security plans" to decide if they should leave.

The advisory issued Tuesday advises U.S. citizens to remain vigilant and "avoid public gatherings and locations frequented by foreigners."

Last month, heavily armed Islamic extremists attacked a luxury hotel in Mali's capital, Bamako. Twenty people, including one American, were killed.

The State Department says the U.S. Embassy in Mali will provide only emergency consular services "for the foreseeable future."

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