Australian government issues terror warning for Kuala Lumpur

Terrorists may be planning attacks in and around Kuala Lumpur, the Australian government warned on Feb 21, 2016. File picture shows Malaysian police leaving a security briefing in Kuala Lumpur. — Reuters file pic

Terrorists may be planning attacks in and around Kuala Lumpur, the Australian government warned on Feb 21, 2016. File picture shows Malaysian police leaving a security briefing in Kuala Lumpur. — Reuters file pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 — Terrorists may be planning attacks in and around Kuala Lumpur, the Australian government said in a post on its website today. The government said attacks may target Western interests or locations frequented by Westerners.

The UK also warned citizens in the past week against travel to coastal islands in the east Malaysia state of Sabah, near the Philippines, citing high threats to foreigners of kidnapping and criminality. Australia advises its citizens to exercise normal safety precautions across Malaysia. It urged them to avoid all travel to the coastal resorts of eastern Sabah, including islands, dive sites and associated tourist facilities due to the high threat of kidnapping. New Zealand classifies travel to the area as “high risk.”

A Malaysian foreign ministry spokeswoman referred to a comment made on yesterday, saying that it will keep other foreign missions informed on security developments.

“We also acknowledged the fact that foreign missions are at liberty to provide their own assessment of the security situation in their host countries albeit the fact that it may not be accurate or give a true reflection of the situation,” the spokeswoman, who asked not to be identified, said by phone today.

The US State Department doesn’t have a travel advisory specifically for Malaysia. In a travel warning for the Philippines updated October 2015, it said US citizens should defer non-essential travel to the Sulu Archipelago, a chain of islands between the southern Philippines and Sabah, due to the high threat of kidnappings and violence linked to insurgency and terrorism. — Bloomberg

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