The British Embassy in Manila Sunday warned of threat of terrorism in the Philippines and advised its citizens against traveling to the southern region of Mindanao because of ongoing terrorist activity.
In its travel bulletin posted on its website, the embassy said "terrorist groups continue to plan attacks and have the capacity and the intent to carry out these attacks at any time and anywhere in the country," citing the Nov. 22 bomb explosion in a shopping mall in Kidapawan City and the attack on the Philippine Congress building on Nov. 13 that killed a Philippine lawmaker.
"Attacks could be indiscriminate including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travelers," it said.
Buildings and locations frequented by expatriates and foreign travelers could be potential targets for terrorists, the embassy said.
The embassy also advised against all travel to the Sulu archipelago including Basilan, Tawi-Tawi and Jolo, where there are ongoing military and police operations against Muslim insurgent groups.
"There are frequent terrorist attacks against civilian targets throughout Mindanao," the advisory said, adding that threat of kidnapping of foreigners is very high.
"We continue to believe that terrorists and criminal elements plan to kidnap foreign tourists from islands and coastal areas in the southern Philippines (such as) Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago. The most recent kidnap of a foreign national occurred in June 2007, " it said in reference to the kidnap of an Italian priest who was released one month afterwards.
Kidnappings from other parts of the Philippines cannot be discounted, with boats traveling to and from offshore islands and dive sites possible targets," it said.
British nationals were also warned of the risk of terrorist attacks to all forms of public transport such as road, rail, sea and air.
"Terrorist groups have threatened to attack passenger ferries and other vessels, particularly those operating from Mindanao," it said.
Around 65,000 British tourists visit the Philippines every year. ( Xinhua )