Sayyaf bombing plot in Sulu foiled after Good Friday raid
() - April 12, 2009 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Government forces foiled a bombing plot in Sulu by the Abu Sayyaf, following a raid and the seizure of a cache of explosive materials in downtown Jolo on Good Friday.

Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo, Navy spokesman, said elements of the 2nd and 3rd Marine Brigades swooped down on the residence of a certain Hadji Nahrim Akmad at Barangay Chinese Pier at about 1 p.m. the other day after intelligence reports revealed that the terror group had been using Akmad’s place to store explosives.

Akmad, who was apparently tipped off about the impending raid, escaped before the arrival of police and Marine elements.

The raiding troops recovered and seized 3,600 pieces of blasting cap casings, 900 ready blasting caps, 13 rolls of seven meters each of time blasting fuse; 15 sacks of 25 kilos of ammonium nitrate, a cal. 40 pistol with 14 rounds of bullets, and Akmad’s passport.

A cell phone and P80,000 cash in P1,000 bills were also recovered.

Arevalo said Akmad is the alleged supplier of explosive components to the Abu Sayyaf.

Part of the seized explosive components were used against the Marine troops in Barangay Latih in Patikul last April 3 where six soldiers were injured in a roadside explosive that hit a passing military truck, he said.

“The confiscation of the explosive devices and components aborted the reported bombing operations that the bandits intend to conduct,” he added.

Military commanders held a consultation meeting with local officials in Parang in efforts to drain the Abu Sayyaf terrorists still holding hostages Red Cross workers Swiss national Andreas Notter and Italian Eugenio Vagni of their much needed human and material resources.

Meanwhile, the military continued to tighten its cordon around Abu Sayyaf terrorists to free the remaining two Red Cross hostages as the number of residents evacuated in Sulu rose to 7,700, the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said.

“There will be no let up in further constricting the kidnappers’ positions to reduce their freedom of movement, especially this Lenten Season,” a military statement said.

Sulu Gov. Abdusakur Tan placed the entire province under a state of emergency after threats by the Abu Sayyaf bandits to behead one of the Red Cross hostages last week.

The state of emergency paved the way for warrantless arrests, raids, and searches in villages to cut off the supply lines of the Abu Sayyaf now holed up in the mountains of Parang and Indanan.

Anticipating an influx of evacuees who would leave their communities for fear of being caught in the crossfire, Defense Secretary and NDCC chairman Gilbert Teodoro ordered the setting up of evacuation centers in safer areas in Indanan and Patikul.

The NDCC reported that 1,586 families or 7,658 persons from eight villages of Indanan town had been displaced by military operations.

Of the number, 130 families or 607 people are now housed in three elementary schools – Lampaki Elementary School (45 families or 180 people from Tumantangis and Kuppong); Poblacion Elementary School (11 families or 57 people from Bud Taran, Langpas, Bud Tumantangis and Kuppong); and Langpas Elementary School (74 families or 370 people from Bud Taran and Bud Tumantangis. Jaime Laude

ABDUSAKUR TAN ABU SAYYAF AKMAD ANDREAS NOTTER AND ITALIAN EUGENIO VAGNI BARANGAY CHINESE PIER BARANGAY LATIH BUD TARAN BUD TARAN AND BUD TUMANTANGIS BUD TUMANTANGIS AND KUPPONG DEFENSE SECRETARY RED CROSS
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