Sunday, May 25, 2008

Marines Seized Chemical Explosive In South RP

SULU, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / May 25, 2008) – Government troops seized weapons and chemicals used in the manufacture of explosives in the southern Philippine province of Sulu, officials said Sunday.

Officials said a marine patrol intercepted Saturday a small boat transporting more than 280 bags of ammonium nitrate at a wharf in the village of Buanza near the town of Indanan. Troops also raided a house near the wharf and seized dozens of blasting caps and a .45-caliber pistol, ammunition and transceiver radios.

Sulu military chief, Brig. Gen. Juancho Sabban said several people were arrested and criminal charges will be filed against them. “There is an ongoing operation to determine where the chemicals came from or if the militant Abu Sayyaf group was involved in the smuggling.”

“The Abu Sayyaf‘s involvement is not remote. The raid, which was conducted based on military intelligence build-up, is near the Abu Sayyaf camp overrun by the military last month. With blasting caps and the ammonium nitrate, which is the basic ingredient for fertilizer bombs, it is obviously meant for a terrorist action,” he said.

The chemicals are widely used as fertilizer and an ingredient to homemade explosive common in blast fishing.

He said civilian informants tipped off the military about the chemicals and the weapons. Sulu Gov. Sakur Tan has previously ordered police and military to dismantle all private armed groups and seized all illegal weapons in the province.

“Our soldiers’ commitment to their mandated tasks interfaced with the public support and cooperation effect this successful operation. We shall always be relentless in our security operations to thwart any eventuality that may harm our people,” Sabban said. (Mindanao Examiner)

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