US, Britain Issue Travel Warnings for Southern Philippines
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After a number international travelers were kidnapped in the Southern Philippines by suspected Muslim extremists, the United States and Britain have warned their citizens to avoid traveling to the area, ABC News reported.
The U.S. State Department warned Americans on Thursday to avoid non-essential travel to the Sulu archipelago "due to the high threat of kidnapping of international travelers, increased threat of maritime kidnappings against small boats ... and violence linked to insurgency and terrorism there," ABC reported.
The British government warned its citizens on Wednesday that there is "a high threat from terrorism, including kidnapping," ABC said.
Abu Sayyaf militants are suspected of kidnapping 18 Indonesian and Malaysian tugboat crewmen at gunpoint, according to ABC.
Abu Sayyaf has kidnapped U.S. and other Western tourists and missionaries for more than 20 years, demanding huge ransoms to sustain its group of 400 armed fighters, ABC said.
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