THE EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES IS TRANSMITTING THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION THROUGH THE EMBASSY WARDEN SYSTEM AS A PUBLIC SERVICE TO AMERICAN CITIZENS IN THE PHILIPPINES. PLEASE DISSEMINATE THIS MESSAGE TO ALL U.S. CITIZENS IN YOUR ORGANIZATION OR NEIGHBORHOOD. THANK YOU.
The State Department warns U.S. citizens of the risks of terrorist activity in thePhilippines, particularly in the southern Philippine islands ofMindanaoand theSulu Archipelago. Terrorist attacks could be indiscriminate and could occur not only in thesouthern islandsbut also in other areas, to includeManila. Targeted sites may be public gathering places that are frequented by expatriates and foreign travelers, including American citizens. Such sites could include, but are not limited to, airports, shopping malls, conference centers and other public venues. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning dated April 2, 2010, to reflect continuing threats due to terrorist and insurgent activities.
Travelers should exercise extreme caution if traveling in the central and western portions of the island of Mindanao, as well as in the islands of theSulu Archipelago. Regional terrorist groups have carried out bombings resulting in injuries and death. An October 10 bus bombing in Mindanao claimed 10 lives; an investigation is underway to determine whether this was a terrorist act.Since August 2008, sporadic clashes have occurred between lawless groups and the PhilippineArmed Forcesin the Mindanao provinces ofNorth Cotabato,Lanao del Sur,Lanao del Norte, andMaguindanao, as well as the Sulu Archipelago.