Australia warns citizens vs traveling to parts of Mindanao

(Eagle News)–The Australian government has warned its citizens against traveling to Central and Western Mindanao, including Sulu and Zamboanga, because of what it said was a “very high threat of kidnapping, terrorist attack, violent crime and violent clashes between armed groups.”

In its advisory, the Australian government also urged its citizens to “reconsider” their need to travel to Eastern Mindanao “due to the very high levels of violent crime and the high threat of terrorist attack and kidnapping.”

“Martial law is in place in Mindanao until 31 December 2019. Martial law increases authorities’ powers to detain suspects, and put in place curfews and checkpoints. Monitor media reporting and follow the instructions of local authorities,” the Australian government said.

It also urged its citizens in Manila, where it said there was a “high threat” of terrorist attack, to “be alert to possible threats around locations that have a low level of protective security and places that could be terrorist targets.”

It said possible targets include commercial and public places frequented by foreigners.

“Avoid large crowds and demonstrations and follow the advice of local authorities. It’s illegal to participate in political rallies if you’re not Filipino,” it added.