Digital News Report– The US Department of State announced a travel warning for US tourists visiting the Philippines. There have been terrorist activity in the Philippines – especially in Sulu Archipelago and the island of Mindanao. Terrorists could also strike in Manila.
The warning said that public areas such as airports, shopping malls, conference centers, and other public places could be targets for a terrorist attack. This replaces the November 2, 2010 travel warning issued from the government agency.
Travel in Mindanao or the Sulu Archipelago is very dangerous. The area has had terrorist groups killing people with bombing attacks. There are also lawless groups who have been fighting with the Philippine Armed Forces in Mindanao, especially in the rural areas. Permission must be given for US government employees who want to travel in Mindanao or Sulu Archipelago.
In Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat provinces, and Cotabato City in Mindanao, elections provoked violence in November of 2009, which now has police and military patrolling these areas. There may be travel restrictions and special instructions to follow from the Philippine government.
Another problem is kidnapping foreign tourists for ransom throughout the Philippines. Being careful to avoid public gathering places and traveling to demonstrations could be dangerous. Violent situations could occur.
There is currently a worldwide travel caution issued for US citizens traveling internationally for terrorist actions. In addition, the government agency reminds that terrorism attacks could happen anywhere.
More information about the travel warning can be found at http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_5490.html.
By: Victoria Brown