The United States has urged its residents to keep away from all “non-essential travel” to a number of areas within the southern Philippines.

In a travel warning issued this week, the US warned its residents in opposition to travelling to Marawi City and to the Sulu Archipelago and surrounding seas due to “terrorist threats, insurgent activities and kidnappings”.

It additionally urged “extreme caution” when travelling to different elements of Mindanao.

The State Department warning stated: “There is a risk of kidnappings-for-ransom of foreigners, together with US residents, from terrorist and rebel teams primarily based within the Sulu Archipelago and within the southern Sulu Sea space.

“This space stretches from the southern tip of Palawan, alongside the coast of jap Sabah, Malaysia and the islands of the Sulu Archipelago, up to Zamboanga City, Mindanao.

“Separatist and terrorist teams proceed to assault and kidnap civilians, foreigners, political leaders, and Philippine safety forces in Mindanao.

The US Embassy in Manila has additionally advised all US authorities personnel to receive “special authorisation” earlier than travelling to the troubled area.

The embassy additionally reminded residents of current assaults in Mindanao, such because the September 2016 Davao City bombing, which killed 14 and injured not less than 70.

It additionally referred to the continuing Marawi disaster, which erupted when authorities forces tried to seize Isnilon Hapilon, the Islamic State’s consultant, or emir, in Southeast Asia.

Militants, together with members of Abu Sayyaf, the Maute group and overseas jihadis, proceed to maintain out in Marawi City after almost two months of fierce preventing.

A proposed extension to the 60-day martial legislation declaration is about to expire on Saturday, so the president has known as on Congress to approve its extension.

Source: philippineslifestyle