Monday, August 27, 2007

Abandoned Baggage Triggers Panic In Zamboanga

Filipino shoppers walk past government soldiers guarding Monday Aug. 27, 2007 a department store in downtown Zamboanga City, south of the Philippines, where police explosive experts disrupted an abandoned luggage thought to contain a bomb. The luggage turned out to contain a small electric fan and clothes. (Mindanao Examiner Photo Service)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / 27 Aug) – Police explosive experts detonated Monday a luggage thought to contain a bomb in the southern Filipino port city of Zamboanga, where 14 people were injured in a recent bomb attack.

Police immediately recovered what was left of the luggage left outside the OK Bazaar and later said it contained a small electric fan.

Several small stores have also closed early in downtown Zamboanga because of reports that a bomb had exploded.

“It was only an electric fan. Our bomb sniffing dog acted on the presence of carbon and electronic components of the fan so we disrupted the luggage just to be sure, in case it turned out to be an IED,” one police explosive expert said.

Last week, a bomb attack believed carried out by the Abu Sayyaf group tied to al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiya terrorists wounded 14 people in downtown Zamboanga City.

Army Colonel Nonito Peralta said the bomb used in last week’s attack was a cocktail of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil. No group claimed responsibility for the blast.

Troops were spotted Sunday guarding malls and department stores in downtown Zamboanga.

Security forces were battling Abu Sayyaf militants in nearby Basilan island, where two soldiers had been wounded in clashes at the weekend.
More than five dozen soldiers were killed in the fighting in the southern Philippines since last month. (Mindanao Examiner)

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