‘bomb plot foiled’ ahead of asean summit in philippines
Last Updated : GMT 06:49:16
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Last Updated : GMT 06:49:16
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‘Bomb plot foiled’ ahead of ASEAN Summit in Philippines

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Arab Today, arab today ‘Bomb plot foiled’ ahead of ASEAN Summit in Philippines

A terror attack could have happened if not for that interdiction
Manila - Arab Today

A militant plot to bomb a Manila shopping mall as US President Donald Trump and other world leaders arrived in the city for a summit has been foiled, Philippine police said on Friday.
Three alleged members of the Abu Sayyaf militant group were arrested on Nov. 10, authorities said, a day before leaders began descending on the capital for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and other meetings.
“A terror attack could have happened if not for that interdiction,” the police said in a statement, adding that pistols and grenades were seized from the suspects.
The high-profile gatherings ended on Tuesday without any security incidents and there was no suggestion world leaders were ever in danger.
The summit meetings were held in sealed off venues to which access was strictly limited.
Police said they monitored one suspect’s Facebook posts, in which he hinted at a plan to launch terror attacks in Manila. Police did not say when the suspects were planning to carry out the attacks.
The posts included photos of powerful firearms and improvised explosive devices. He also posted pictures of targets, including a mall and a park in the capital, police said.
However, police added they had asked prosecutors to file charges against the three for having unlicensed handguns, not in relation to a bomb plot.
Philippine police chief Ronald Dela Rosa told reporters officers were checking whether the suspects were linked to previous attacks.
The alleged militants — two 19-year-olds and a 24-year-old — were living in a northern Manila slum, largely populated by migrants. Police said the men came from the remote island of Basilan, an Abu Sayyaf stronghold around 900 km south of the capital.
Abu Sayyaf originated as a loose network of militants formed in the 1990s with seed money from Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda network. It later splintered into factions, with some involved in crimes like kidnapping for ransom.
A faction in Basilan recently pledged allegiance to Daesh. It besieged the southern city of Marawi in May, sparking a five-month battle with government forces that left over a thousand dead.
Philippine troops meanwhile shelled positions held by a small group of pro-Daesh militants in southern marshland on Friday, as the military pushed on with a new offensive after the country’s biggest urban battle in decades.
The army estimated 2,000 villagers had been displaced by several days of operations in a region straddling two provinces on the island of Mindanao, as the army went after the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), a small and splintered rebel group inspired by Islamic State.
The latest operation follows the end last month of what was the Philippines’ biggest battle since World War Two, in which troops took five months to crush an alliance of Islamic State loyalists inclding BIFF fighters in Marawi City.
The occupation of the city by the militants and their dogged resistance spread alarm in the region about the rise of extremism.
Captain Nap Alcarioto, spokesman for the 6th Infantry Division, said troops were shelling BIFF gunmen in support of ground attacks in an area of marshland between the provinces of Maguindanao and Cotobato, about 170 km from Marawi.

Source:Arabnews

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