US Embassy airs travel warning over Central Visayas
MANILA — The United States Embassy in Manila warned Americans in the Philippines, on Sunday, to be careful in traveling to Central Visayas, citing “unsubstantiated yet credible information” that terrorist groups would try to kidnap tourists there.
“The US Embassy has received unsubstantiated yet credible information that terrorist groups may attempt to conduct kidnappings in Central Visayas, which includes both Cebu and Bohol provinces. US citizens are advised to carefully consider this information as you make your travel plans, and to review personal security plans, avoid large crowds and gatherings, and remain vigilant at all times,” a travel advisory on the embassy’s website said.
The embassy also reminded US citizens that its most recent “worldwide caution,” issued last march 7, indicated an ongoing threat of terrorist actions and violence against US citizens and interests abroad, including the Philippines.
“Extremists have targeted sporting events, theaters, markets, mass transportation systems–including airlines, and other public venues where large crowds gather. Crowded nightclubs, shopping malls, buses and popular restaurants have also been targets. US citizens should be mindful of the importance of taking preventative measures to ensure their safety and security while traveling and residing in the Philippines,” the embassy said.
The Philippine military and police have been keeping an eye on groups such as the Abu Sayyaf, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, Ansar Al-Khilafa Philippines and the Maute group whose members and strongholds have targeted in various operations in the previous months.
Cebu and Bohol’s beaches, diving spots, mountain and island resorts, nature parks and heritage locations are among the country’s top drawers of local and foreign travellers during the summer months. SFM
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