Canada tells citizens: Avoid all travel to Mindanao, except Davao City

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 12 2017 12:06 PM

Canada ordered its citizens to avoid all travel to Mindanao, with the exception of Davao City, citing "serious threat of terrorist attacks and kidnapping."

"Global Affairs Canada advises against all travel to the Mindanao Region, excluding urban areas of Davao City, due to the serious threat of terrorist attacks and kidnapping," Canada said in its advisory dated April 10.

It also advised against any travel to the Sulu Archipelago and the southern Sulu Sea, "including waters off southern Palawan Island, due to the threat of piracy and kidnappings in this area."

"There is a serious risk of terrorist attacks and kidnappings in this region. Bombs causing deaths and injuries have exploded in public areas of major centers, including the cities of Cotabato, Davao, General Santos, Isabela, Jolo, Kidapawan and Zamboanga. On September 2, 2016, an explosion at a street market outside the Marco Polo hotel in Davao left 14 people dead and dozens injured," the advisory said.

It also noted of clashes between insurgents and the military, citing how "innocent bystanders have occasionally been taken hostage."

Canada said consular assistance in these areas were also limited.

Although there was "no nationwide advisory" for the Philippines, Canadians must still exercise "a high degree of caution," the advisory added.

Canada's warning came after US, Australia, and United Kingdom issued respective advisories regarding travel to Central Visayas and Mindanao.

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