Western countries issue 'terrorist' warnings for citizens in Philippines

Featured Oceania - October 1st, 2012
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Three other countries issued security threat warnings to their citizens in the Philippines following an initial move by the US on Friday warning Americans of threats detected by “reliable security forces”, AP reports.

Britain, Australia and Canada released Saturday warnings on terrorist attacks in the wake of violent protests across the Muslim world over an inflammatory film. The Philippines is the hideout of Abu Sayyaf, closely linked to the Al Qaeda, notorious for kidnappings, beheadings and bombings in the country.

The Australian government advised their citizens to “exercise a high degree of caution in the Philippines because of the high threat of terrorist attack and high level of serious crime”. Terrorist attacks “could be indiscriminate,” the British government warned, further identifying potential target places such as airports, shopping malls, and churches. Canada cautioned citizens that bombings “could occur at any time in Manila and other key cities”.

Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Col. Arnulfo Burgos said the military has not detected any “significant threat” against Westerners but said that officials are taking the warnings seriously. Metropolitan Manila police chief Leonardo Espina ordered tighter security in embassies with uniformed and plainclothes officers, Asahi Shimbun reports.