Australia, UK tell citizens to avoid travel to Manila, Mindanao
Australia and the United Kingdom have issued travel advisories cautioning its citizens against going to southern part of the Philippines as well as Manila due to “threat of terrorism.”
In a travel advisory issued Friday, the Australian government through its Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade warned its citizens to exercise heightened caution citing a “high threat of terrorist attack in the Philippines, including Manila.”
The Australian government specifically warned the people to avoid traveling to Eastern Mindanao “due to the very high levels of violent crime and the high threat of terrorist attack and kidnapping.”
“Be alert to possible threats around locations that have a low level of protective security and places known to be possible terrorist targets. The level of our advice has not changed,” it said.
“Exercise a high degree of caution in the Philippines overall. Higher levels apply in some parts of the country,” it added.
The United Kingdom, through its Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) on Friday reiterated its warning issued Oct. 24 advising their citizens to be careful when traveling to the Philippines, particularly in the rural areas.
“Armed clashes between security forces and militant groups can occur at any time without warning. Before traveling to rural areas, you should research the area thoroughly,” it said.
FCO advised its citizens against going to western and central Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago “because of terrorist activity and clashes between the military and insurgent groups.”
“Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in the Philippines, including in Manila. Terrorist groups continue to plan attacks and have the capacity and the intent to carry out attacks at anytime and anywhere in the country, including in places visited by foreigners, like airports, shopping malls, public transport, including the metro system, and places of worship. You should remain vigilant at all times and report anything suspicious to the local authorities,” the FCO said.
Martial law was recently declared in the entire Mindanao due to the clashes between the ISIS-inspired Maute rebels and the government forces which lasted for almost five months.
Authorities have already declared Marawi City liberated from terrorist influence.
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