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Davao bombing prompts warnings on travel to PH

/ 05:12 PM September 03, 2016

The governments of Australia, Canada and Singapore have alerted their citizens in the country to exercise high degree of caution after the Davao blast on Friday that killed 15 people and injured 60, saying there is now a high threat of terrorist attacks across the Philippines.

The travel advisory was issued separately on Saturday by the three governments after the US-listed terrorist group Abu Sayyaf claimed responsibility for the bombings.

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Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) on Saturday told its citizens “to reconsider traveling to eastern Mindanao, including Davao City, and to exercise a high degree of caution in the Philippines.”

It added that “higher levels (of caution) apply in some parts of the country.”

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“Australians in Davao should exercise heightened vigilance, avoid the affected area and follow the advise of local authorities,” said Australia’s travel warning issued in the DFAT website.

The Australian government not only advised its citizens against terrorist threats but also on the “high level of crime.”

“There is an ongoing threat of terrorist attacks and violent crime in the Philippines, including in Manila, other major cities and many rural areas.  You should exercise particular caution around locations that have a low level of protective security and places known to be possible terrorist targets,” said Australia’s warning.

The Australian government told its citizens “not to travel to central and western Mindanao, including the Zamboanga peninsula and the Sulu archipelago and in the southern Sulu Sea area, due to the very high threat of kidnapping, terrorist attack, violent crime and violent clashes between armed groups.”

At the same time, the Singapore Embassy in Manila condemned the bomb explosion in Davao City and alerted its citizens in Davao to contact the embassy.

“Singapore condemns the bomb explosion in Davao City, Philippines, on Sept. 2, which killed and injured many innocent people. We extend our deepest condolences to the bereaved families and wish the injured a speedy recovery,” said the embassy in a statement issued through its official Facebook page.

It also said that “there are no reports of any Singaporeans injured or directly affected by the bombing.”

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“Singaporeans in the Philippines are advised to exercise vigilance, and monitor the local news and instructions of the local authorities,” it added.

The Canadian government meanwhile updated its “security tab” and advised citizens from traveling to Mindanao and Sulu archipelago due to heightened threat of terrorist attacks.

The Global Affairs Canada, in its website posted red warnings on travels to Mindanao region, Sulu archipelago and southern Sulu Sea as it warned its citizens “to exercise a high degree of caution” following the bombing in Davao City.

“There is no nationwide advisory in effect for the Philippines. However, you should exercise a high degree of caution due to an ongoing terrorist threat to Westerners and Western interests,” said Canada’s travel advisory on Saturday.

The Canadian government also told its citizens not to travel to Mindanao region due to serious threats of terrorist attacks and kidnapping, adding “the Government of Canada’s ability to provide consular assistance in this region is limited.”

It added that Canadian citizens should avoid all travel to the Sulu archipelago and through the southern Sulu Sea, including the waters off southern Palawan Island, “due to the threat of piracy and kidnappings in this area.”

President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday declared the Philippines in “a state of lawlessness” following the Davao City blast.

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TAGS: Australia, Canada, Davao bombing, Davao Explosion, Singapore, Travel Advisories, Travel warning
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