UK warns citizens vs travel to parts of Mindanao
MANILA, Philippines - The United Kingdom issued an advisory against traveling to parts of Mindanao in the wake of the explosion in Cagayan de Oro City, and clashes between rebels and the army in Maguindanao.
"The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to south-west Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago because of on-going terrorist activity and clashes between the military and insurgent groups," the travel advisory, issued Tuesday, July 30, read.
The area identified by the UK FCO covers the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Soccsksargen, the provinces of Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Sur and Lanao del Norte, and the cities of Zamboanga and Isabela.
"The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the remainder of Mindanao for the same reason," it added.
A "high threat" from terrorism, including kidnapping, is also being cited by the advisory.
On Tuesday, members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) attacked army detachments in Maguindanao, forcing the closure of a national highway linking Cotabato and General Santos cities.
The clashes killed at least 8 rebels and wounded 5 others. Travel on the national highway returned to normal Tuesday afternoon.
On Friday, July 26, an explosion occurred in Cagayan de Oro, after a still-unidentified suspect left an improvised explosive device concealed in a black bag outside a bistro. Eight people died. - Rappler.com