'Incidents' prompt Manila advice

WASHINGTON -- The State Department said it wants to make travelers to the Philippines aware of six "security incidents" in the Manila metropolitan area from May 6 through May 17.

They include a bomb explosion in Luneta Park, an explosive device discovered and defused outside the National Museum, a small arms and grenade attack against a Philippine government agency in Quezon City, a grenade attack against police headquarters in Quezon City, a bomb threat at the home of a U.S. embassy employee and a bomb explosion inside the Glorietta Mall in Makati.

The State Department said the Communist New Peoples Army claimed responsibility for the attack at the police headquarters, but no one claimed responsibility for the other.

U.S. citizens in the Philippines should remain alert to their surroundings, and never approach a bombing scene or disturb a suspicious object or package, the department said.

Separately, the department updated its consular information sheet on Mauritania, a country in northwestern Africa.

It said travelers in Nouakchott, the capital, should avoid establishments known to be frequented by Americans. The city's beach area should be avoided at night, and beach-goers should travel in large groups during the day, it said.

Unexploded land mines are known to be in areas of Mauritania adjacent to Western Sahara, tourists have been held up and robbed along the Morocco border and surface travel to Mali has been plagued by banditry, the department said.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI