By Don Tagala, ABS CBN North America Bureau
May 29, 2013
New York – The U.S. Embassy in Manila has alerted all American citizens residing in or planning to travel to the Philippines to stay away from the largest city in Western Mindanao.
In an emergency message issued today, the United States conveyed that “a credible threat of a terrorist kidnapping for-ransom (KFR) plot against foreigners has been identified in the Zamboanga area on the island of Mindanao.”
The embassy has advised all American citizens who intend to go to the Zamboanga area to re-evaluate their personal safety situation and
consider postponing their travel plans.
There are about 400,000 American citizens living and working in the Philippines.
American personnel already in Zamboanga have been relocated to a secure area and U.S. government employees planning to travel to Zamboanga have also been directed to defer their travel at this time.
Last Saturday, May 25, seven members of the Philippine Marines died in a clash with members of bandit group Abu Sayyaf in nearby Sulu province.
Washington has long expressed its concern about the presence of this kidnap for ransom bandit group that has ties to the Al Qaeda, in the southern Philippines.