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Cablegate: Travel Warning: Philippines

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TO ALL DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR POSTS COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
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UNCLAS STATE 096911

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CASC PTER ASEC RP
SUBJECT: TRAVEL WARNING: PHILIPPINES

1. The State Department warns U.S. citizens of the risks
of travel to the southern Philippine islands of Mindanao
and the Sulu Archipelago and urges extreme caution if
traveling there. This replaces the Travel Warning dated
January 29, 2009, to reflect continuing threats due to
terrorist and insurgent activities.

2. Travelers should exercise extreme caution if
traveling in the central and western portions of the
island of Mindanao, as well as in the islands of the Sulu
Archipelago. Regional terrorist groups have carried out
bombings resulting in injuries and death. Since August
2008, there have been sporadic clashes between lawless
groups and the Philippine Armed Forces in the Mindanao
provinces of North Cotabato, Lanao del Sur and Lanao del
Norte, as well as the Sulu Archipelago. Kidnap-for-
ransom gangs are active and have targeted foreigners.
U.S. Government employees must seek special permission
for travel to Mindanao or the Sulu Archipelago.
Travelers to these areas should remain vigilant and avoid
congregating in public areas. Some foreigners who reside
in or visit Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago hire their
own security.

3. The Department of State remains concerned about the
continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence
against U.S. citizens and interests throughout the
world. The Worldwide Caution reminds U.S. citizens that
terrorism can occur anywhere.

4. The Department strongly encourages U.S. citizens in
the Philippines to register with the Consular Section of
the U.S. Embassy in Manila through the State Department's
travel registration website. The U.S. Embassy is located
at: 1201 Roxas Boulevard, Manila, Philippines, tel. 63-2-
301-2000. The American Citizens Services (ACS) section's
fax number is 63-2-301-2017 and the ACS web page can be
accessed online.

5. For information on general crime and security issues,
U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of
State's Country Specific Information for the Philippines
and the Worldwide Caution, located at the Department of
State's Bureau of Consular Affairs website. U.S.
citizens may also obtain up-to-date information on
security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 from the
United States and Canada, or 202-501-4444 from overseas.

6. Minimize considered.
CLINTON

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