Saturday, January 16, 2010

Bomb scare hits Zamboanga City Hall

Zamboanga City Hall. (Mindanao Examiner)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / January 16, 2010) – Police and military authorities have evacuated the Zamboanga City hall after receiving threats that a bomb had been planted and would explode at any time.

More than 1,000 civil employees were forced to abandon their posts Friday because of the threats, but soldiers and policemen who searched the building in downtown Zamboanga found no explosives.

Security and local officials blamed pranksters for the undue alarm. Zamboanga City had been previously bombed many times by the al-Qaeda linked Abu Sayyaf group.
"There was no bomb. It was a hoax. This is the handiwork of pranksters, but nonetheless we have seen how ready our security forces and paramedics in handling this kind of situation. The whole evacuation of civil workers was orderly and the area was immediately secured and the city hall searched thoroughly," said Army Colonel Santiago Baluyot, commander of an anti-terror task force.
He said police and military authorities have stepped security in Zamboanga City.
The Abu Sayyaf group was also implicated in many kidnappings-for-ransom in Zamboanga City and other parts of Mindanao, including a cross-border raid in 2001 in Malaysia’s state of Sabah near the Filipino province of Tawi-Tawi.
The US Embassy has warned its citizens not to travel to Sabah because of threats of attacks by the Abu Sayyaf and in the past also told Americans not to travel to Zamboanga City and in many parts of Mindanao, including Sulu, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi provinces. (Mindanao Examiner)

No comments: