A MEMBER of the Abu Sayyaf was arrested by government troops in Indanan, Sulu on Tuesday and he later led authorities to a safe house where the troops found pipe bombs similar to the ones to be used in a planned attack in the province.
Lt. Col. Gerard Monfort, spokesman of the military’s Joint Task Force Sulu, named the suspect only as “Mang” who he said was nabbed in Barangay Kan Islam at around 6:10 p.m. on Tuesday.
Monfort said Mang was apprehended by forces from the Joint Task Force Sulu in a follow-up operation after the killing of three alleged suicide bombers earlier on Tuesday.
The three suicide bombers, including an Egyptian and his son, were killed at a military checkpoint also in Barangay Kan Islam. Recovered from three were two vests rigged with 32 pipe bombs, which were due to be used in a suicide attack that the Army said it has foiled.
Citing information gathered by the task force, Monfort said the three suicide bombers were supposed to link up with Mang in Barangay Kan Islam.
Monfort said Mang told troops from the Army’s 41st Infantry Battalion the location of pipe bombs in Barangay Paligue, also in Indanan.
The troops recovered 16 pipe bombs similar to the ones recovered from the slain suicide bombers.
Monfort said the 16 pipe bombs were unrigged, meaning they were yet to be attached with triggering mechanisms.
JTF Sulu commander Maj. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr. expressed gratitude to members of the Tausug community who he said provided information on the whereabouts of the slain suicide bombers.
Vinluan also said the successful operation shows Sulu “is no longer a haven for ASG bandits and foreign terrorists.”
Army chief Lt. Gen. Macairog Alberto, who visited Sulu on Wednesday, congratulated JTF Sulu forces for the feat. – with Reuters