UK, Australia Raise Security Warnings after Bombing in Southern Philippines

Britain and Australia have cautioned their citizens against traveling to the southern Philippines in the wake of a bombing that killed two people and injured more than three dozen at a shopping mall in Cotabato City on New Year’s Eve.

The military said it suspected that Islamic militants carried out Monday’s attack to retaliate for intensified army offensives in the Philippine south, which is heavily militarized and under martial law.

Police, meanwhile, said they were looking into the possibility that groups opposed to an upcoming plebiscite on giving Muslims expanded autonomy in the south were behind the bombing.

“The Foreign and Commonwealth Office [FCO] advises against all travel to western and central Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago because of terrorist activity and clashes between the military and insurgent groups,” the British government said Wednesday in updating its travel advisory to the Philippines.

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Source: Benar News

Related story: Police, military join forces for Cotabato City mall bombing probe