Filipino troops defuse bomb
Sunday 10 April 2011
Army troops defused a powerful bomb outside a school today in the same southern Philippine province where the night before a blast destroyed a lodging house and another explosive was found near a hotel in attacks blamed on Abu Sayyaf extremists.
Although it has been crippled by years of US-backed Philippine offensives, the Abu Sayyaf has endured and continued to be blamed for bombings, kidnappings for ransom, extortion and other acts of banditry in at least four impoverished southern provinces. Washington has blacklisted the al-Qa'ida-linked group as a terrorist organization.
An army ordnance team safely defused the bomb, believed to be made from ammonium nitrate and attached to two cellular phones, after patrolling soldiers discovered the explosive in a biscuit can in front of a school compound in Lamitan town in the island province of Basilan, provincial military commander Col. Alex Macario said.
Soldiers cordoned off the area as a soldier, taking cover behind a tree, cut the wires protruding from the explosive with a long bamboo pole fitted with metal hooks, according to witnesses.
The military tightened security in Lamitan after a bomb exploded in a lodging house in the Christian town in predominantly Muslim Basilan late Saturday, destroying the small wood and concrete building but causing no injuries, Macario said.
Two men checked in then left before the blast at the lodging house, often used by transient rubber plantation workers. The owner apparently resisted an extortion attempt by an armed group before the attack, regional police commander Felicisimo Khu Jr. said.
Shortly after the blast, troops found another bomb, which was packed with nails for added lethal power, near a budget hotel in Basilan's capital city of Isabela, officials said.
The army received intelligence that the Abu Sayyaf has planned to bomb a cathedral, small hotels and gas stations in Basilan, about 550 miles (880 kilometers) south of Manila, Macario said.
The Abu Sayyaf is estimated to have 410 fighters in Basilan, where the group was founded in the early 1990s, and in nearby Zamboanga peninsula and the island provinces of Jolo and Tawi Tawi, according to a government threat assessment report.
The militants have been grappling with the loss of several top leaders and factionalism, but remain a key security threat. They staged at least 11 kidnappings last year, enabling them to raise $704,000 in ransom, the report said.
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign
Ellen DeGeneres leads Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow and Paul Bettany in revealing game of Never Have I Ever
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...