Stay away from Mindanao, US Embassy warns Americans
The US State Department on Tuesday cautioned its citizens against traveling to southern Philippines in the wake of continuing skirmishes between government forces and the Islamic State-linked Maute terror group in Marawi City.
In a travel advisory posted on the website of the US Embassy in Manila, Washington told Americans to shun “all nonessential travel to the city of Marawi, Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago including the southern Sulu Sea.”
The warning also cited President Rodrigo Duterte’s martial law declaration in the entire Mindanao after terrorists stormed Marawi on May 23 and other security-related incidents that may place them in danger.
“There have been no reports of US citizens in Mindanao targeted specifically for their nationality. However, general threats to US citizens and other foreigners throughout Mindanao remain a concern,” warned the US State Department.
“Recent terrorist threats, kidnappings and bombings have occurred throughout the Philippines. [The] US Embassy [in] Manila received credible information that terrorists planned to conduct kidnappings in Palawan, Cebu and Bohol provinces in 2017,” it said.
The US authorities also mentioned that terror and rebel groups based in the Sulu archipelago may carry out kidnapping for ransom of American travelers and other foreign nationals.
“This area stretches from the southern tip of Palawan, along the coast of eastern Sabah, Malaysia and the islands of the Sulu archipelago, up to Zamboanga City,” it said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.