Hong Kong reiterates travel warning on Philippines

MANILA -- Hong Kong reiterated Friday its outbound travel alert over the Philippines, after the United States and three other countries warned their nationals against traveling to parts of Mindanao due to kidnapping threats.

Hong Kong's Security Bureau reissued its black outbound travel alert (OTA) to the Philippines, citing the botched rescue attempt during the 2010 Manila hostage-taking incident and the warning issued by the US.

The hostage-taking incident in Luneta Park had left eight tourists from Hong Kong dead, as well as their hostage-taker, a dismissed police officer.

"The US Embassy in Manila issued a message to US citizens in the Philippines warning against a credible kidnap threat against foreigners in the Zamboanga area on the island of Mindanao," the advisory said.

Earlier this week, the US, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada warned their respective citizens against traveling to southern Philippines because of the continuing threat of terrorism there.

Their advisories also cited the prevalence of kidnapping, and the threat to Westerners and Western interests.

Aside from the Philippines, Hong Kong also placed Syria under the black OTA.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), on the other hand, said there are no specific threats to the areas mentioned in the advisories. (CVB/Sunnex)

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