Gov't issues Philippines advice

WASHINGTON -- The State Department advised travelers to the Philippines that the Abu Sayyaf terrorist organization has threatened retaliatory action against U.S. citizens throughout the Philippines in the form of kidnappings or shootings if terrorists held in the U.S. are not released.

U.S. citizens in the Philippines "are urged to review their security practices, to remain vigilant to their surroundings and to exercise caution," the department said.

Separately, it notified travelers to Zimbabwe that "muggings, rape, purse snatching, car thefts and credit card fraud are on the increase due to high rates of unemployment and inflation."

Thieves often operate near hotels, restaurants, shopping malls and tourist areas, including Victoria Falls and the capital city of Harare, with U.S. travelers a frequent target, the department said.

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