US, UK, Australia issue travel warnings after Davao blast


Posted at Sep 03 2016 05:52 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte looks at the belongings of victims during his visit of a blast site at a market in Davao City. Malacanang photo via Reuters

MANILA - The United States, United Kingdom and Australia on Saturday issued travel warnings to their citizens after an explosion in the southern city of Davao the night before left scores dead or wounded.

The US Embassy in Manila said it temporarily suspended all official travel to Mindanao and told citizens to "remain vigilant and employ sound security measures." 

The British Embassy said its citizens in Davao should "exercise heightened vigilance" and advised against "all but essential travel" to Eastern Mindanao. 

It said the UK foreign ministry advised against all travel to Southwestern Mindanao, including the Sulu archipelago. The extremist group Abu Sayyaf, which claimed responsibility for the Davao blast, is based in Sulu where a military pursuit is underway.

The Australian Embassy advised its citizens to exercise a "high degree of caution" because of an "ongoing threat of terrorist attacks and violent crime" in the country, including Manila.

The embassy said travel to Eastern Mindanao should be reconsidered while travel to the western portion of the island must be avoided.

Fourteen people were killed while 67 others were wounded in the explosion at a popular night market in President Rodrigo Duterte's hometown on Friday. 

The President has declared a "state of lawlessness" across the country, authorizing the military to join police patrols.