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Philippines Travel Warning

Issued by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Feb 01, 2001

There has been a series of violent incidents in the Philippines recently which have made travel unsafe in certain areas. In view of these incidents, and the possibility of future occurrences, Americans traveling or residing in the Philippines are urged to review their security practices, remain aware of their surroundings and exercise extreme caution.

A series of bombs exploded in the Metro Manila area, including the cargo terminal at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), on December 30, 2000, killing 18 people and injuring 100. In view of these incidents, and the possibility of future attacks, Americans are urged to be particularly cautious in outdoor public areas and not approach or linger in the vicinity of a bomb-related incident. Americans are cautioned not to disturb suspicious objects or packages and report the incident to local authorities. If you are involved in or observe a bomb incident, immediately notify the U.S. Embassy.

Additionally, U.S. citizens are strongly cautioned to avoid all travel to the southern and western areas of the Island of Mindanao, to include Zamboanga City, due to incidents of terrorism and violence. U.S. citizens should avoid travel to the island of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, and Jolo located in the Sulu Archipelago in the extreme southwest of the Philippines.

Since April 2000, the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group (ASG) has taken hostage a number of Filipinos and foreign tourists. Some of these hostages were killed by their captors. In August, the same group took credit for kidnapping a U.S. citizen. There is concern that the ASG may take additional actions against U.S. citizens and other foreigners.

There have also been sporadic incidents of violence in southern Mindanao, including bombings in General Santos City and at the Cotabato Airport in Maguindanao Province, as well as bus hijackings on national highways. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front reportedly has claimed responsibility for these actions.

Again, the Department of State strongly cautions Americans against travel to the areas cited above and urges caution in travel to other parts of the Philippines. Americans should avoid large unruly crowds and political demonstrations, keep a low profile, and vary routes and times of all travel.

For further general information on travel to the Philippines, please consult the Department of States's latest Consular Information Sheet for the Philippines. This Announcement consolidates the Public Announcements for the Philippines issued September 1, 2000 and December 30, 2000. This Announcement expires on April 5, 2001.

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