Playa del Carmen Security Threat: US Says Avoid Mexican Resort

Blooded victims were seen being treated at the scene after the explosion

"We take our obligation to provide information to USA citizens seriously as evidenced by the clear, timely and reliable safety and security information we release worldwide", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told ABC News when asked about the new alert in Playa del Carmen. The site also urged Mexican tourists to buy travel insurance that "specifically covers you in Mexico and includes medical evacuation insurance".

Economic activity and tourism in Playa del Carmen and throughout the state continues as usual, continued the statement.

Asked about the new alert, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told ABC News that "we take our obligation to provide information to U.S. citizens seriously as evidenced by the clear, timely and reliable safety and security information we release worldwide".

Initial reports had indicated the explosion was caused either by a gas leak or engine failure, but a security alert posted on the U.S. Embassy website the blast was caused by an explosive device.

Mexican officials on Thursday however, insisted Playa Del Carmen was safe, noting President Enrique Pena Nieto is scheduled to attend an ocean conservation conference there later in the day.

More news: France to Set Age of Consent to 15 After Child Sex Outrage

And last week, undetonated explosive devices were found on another boat owned by the same ferry company.

The Canadian notice, which comes as many are preparing for spring break vacations, warns travellers "to exercise a high degree of caution in Playa del Carmen" and avoid taking tourist ferries. Previously, the department had used "travel alerts" for short-term dangers and "travel warnings" for long-term concerns, a distinction that was often confusing.

"In Mexico alone, we've issued a number of recent security alerts as soon as we received information that travelers should know", the statement said.

Last summer, the department also cautioned vacationers to be careful when drinking alcohol in Mexico.

While these groups don't usually target tourists, the advisory says "armed clashes" between criminals and security forces can occur without warning and Canadians could be "caught in the crossfire".

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