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Published on : Thursday, November 7, 2013
The United States embassy on Wednesday issued an emergency message warning their citizens against travelling to Southern Mindanao following a series of security threats coming from extremists and insurgents.
“In particular, the embassy is aware of threats in several locales in Region 11 (the Davao Region), Region 12 (North and South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Sarangani), and in Maguindanao,” the travel advisory said.
The travel advisory came in the midst of the of bombings which occurred recently in the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Cotabato City and the twin blasts that hit two shopping malls in Davao City.
“As a result, the embassy has placed restrictions on all US government travel to these areas. The embassy advises all US citizens residing in southern Mindanao to exercise extreme caution and re-evaluate their personal safety situation,” the US government said.
The emergency message posted on the US embassy website said that individuals associated with known extremist and insurgent groups are believed to have been conducting surveillance on a number of public locations in these areas, as possible targets of interest.
American officials also pointed out that extremists might use conventional or non-conventional weapons, and target both official and private interests, including high-profile sporting events, residential areas, business offices, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, public areas, and other destinations, whether frequented by foreigners or locals.