US assures continued support for PH counterterror measures
The United States has condemned the atrocities committed by Islamic State-linked militants in Marawi City and assured a continued support for Philippine counterterrorism efforts.
In a statement, US press secretary Sean Spicer said, “the United States condemns the recent violence perpetrated by an ISIS-linked terrorist group in the southern Philippines. These cowardly terrorists killed Philippine law enforcement officials and endangered the lives of innocent citizens.”
He concluded, “the United States is a proud ally of the Philippines, and we will continue to work with the Philippines to address shared threats to the peace and security of our countries.”
Meanwhile, the US embassy in Manila reminded Americans in the Philippines to “review personal security plans, avoid large crowds and gatherings and remain vigilant at all times.”
In a travel advisory, the embassy cautioned citizens of the conflict between terrorist groups and government forces in Marawi City and the declaration of martial law in Mindanao.
It said, “the US Embassy has temporarily suspended Mission personnel travel to Mindanao pending a better understanding of the threat environment.”
According to the travel advisory, “while the US Embassy has no information that the events in Marawi City represent a direct threat to US citizens or US interests in the Philippines, we encourage US citizens to review personal security plans, avoid large crowds and gatherings, and remain vigilant at all times.”
The US embassy further reminded Americans of the latest worldwide caution, which indicates a threat of terrorist action and violence against US citizens and interests abroad, including the Philippines.
“Extremists have targeted sporting events, theaters, markets, mass transportation systems–including airlines, and other public venues where large crowds gather. Crowded nightclubs, shopping malls, buses and popular restaurants have also been targets. US citizens should be mindful of the importance of taking preventative measures to ensure their safety and security while traveling and residing in the Philippines,” it said. JPV/rga
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