WASHINGTON -- The State Department repeated a recommendation that
U.S. travelers to the Philippines should avoid the south and west
of Mindanao Island, including General Santos City and Cotabato,
"due to increased violence in the area."
In a new public announcement, the department also repeated
earlier advice to stay away from the islands of Basilan, Sulu,
Tawi-Tawi and Jolo located in the Sulu archipelago in the extreme
southwest of the Philippines.
Separately, travelers to Laos were advised to stay away from the
Morning Market area of Vientiane, the capital, due to the potential
recurrence of recent explosions that injured several foreigners and