The US embassy in Cyprus on Friday advised Americans against travelling to the north citing the recent violent incident in the buffer zone.

Due to the escalation of events in the Pyla area, the US Embassy in Nicosia is “strongly encouraging” US citizens to reconsider plans to travel north this weekend or until further notice of de-escalation of the situations.

Individuals are specifically advised to stay away from the Pyla area, where UN soldiers were assaulted earlier on Friday.

In total, 12 UN peacekeepers were “violently” pushed back from their positions in the buffer zone, apparently by Turkish Cypriot military and police in plain clothes. The peacekeepers were attempting to block the “unauthorised” construction of a road through the buffer zone between the villages of Pyla and Arsos. Three of them were injured and had to be hospitalised.

“We encourage US citizens in the area to exercise caution and be aware of their surroundings, particularly around large crowds or gatherings. You should monitor local media to keep updated wit the latest information about the situation and activities, any demonstrations, and areas to avoid,” the US embassy said in its security alert.

The assault against the peacekeeping force was widely condemned by local parties and the international community.