Monday, October 19, 2009

RP troops seize 6 tons of chemicals used by rebels in making homemade explosives

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / October 19, 2009) – Philippine authorities seized more than six tons of banned chemical fertilizers widely used by rebels in the manufacture of crude bombs, officials said Monday.

Officials said some 242 bags of ammonium nitrate were seized Friday from two locations in the southern Philippine province of Tawi-Tawi province. The chemical fertilizers were believed smuggled into the southern Philippine from nearby Malaysia.

Regional military spokesman Major Ramon Hontiveros said the recovery of the contraband came after soldiers arrested a boatman in Bongao town in Tawi-Tawi who tried to smuggle out 225 kilos of ammonium nitrate in nine bags.

The arrested boatman led troops at a warehouse in the town where the rest of the chemicals were hidden and arrested a second man. “The contraband was allegedly bought in Malaysia,” Hontiveros said, adding the two men were being investigated by the military.

It was unknown whether the two men had any links with rebels.

Authorities also seized in July some 350 kilos of ammonium nitrate and 1,800 pieces of blasting caps and detonating cords from a cargo vessel in the central Philippine province of Cebu that was heading for Iligan City in Mindanao. (Mindanao Examiner)

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