Soldiers, cops foil bomb attack in Zambo City

Government security forces have foiled a bomb attack this yuletide season as they arrested a man suspected to have ties with the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and seized an improvised bomb Wednesday night in this city.

Brig. Gen. Franco Simborio, Police Regional Office – Zamboanga Peninsula (PRO-9) director, on Thursday identified the arrested suspect as Tony Asmun, 57, of Hanapi Drive, Barangay Kasanyangan here

Simborio said Asmun was arrested when joint police and military operatives, armed with a search warrant, raided the suspect’s residence in Hanapi Drive around 7:20 p.m. Wednesday.

Before the raid, Simborio said they received a report that an alleged ASG member identified as certain alias Putoh and his skipper, with an improvised explosive device (IED), landed on the shore of Barangay Mariki here coming from Barangay Seronggon in Hadji Mohamad Ajul, Basilan province.

“The IED was concealed in a sack of charcoal and transported together with three other sacks of charcoal aboard a motorboat,” Simborio said.

He said the IED, with a main charge of 90-mm high explosive anti-tank (HEAT) ammunition, was deposited at the residence of Asmun in Barangay Kasanyangan.

He said the raiding team seized the 90-mm HEAT with detonating cord as a booster, a nine-volt battery, battery snap connector, pressure switch, improvised electric blasting cap, and a transparent plastic from the suspect.

Asmun, however, has denied any knowledge that an IED was concealed in one of the sacks of charcoal that Putoh brought to his residence.

Asmun, who had just come out of prison after four years and five months for drug charges, also denied that he has ties with the ASG in Basilan. He was released from jail on December 15.

Simborio said that Asmun was placed under the custody of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-9 for documentation and proper disposition.

Meanwhile, Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar has ordered the city police office to conduct checkpoints in strategic places to thwart any attempt of bombings in the locality.

For the past six years, this city recorded zero bombing incidents as security measures remain tight.

The last bombing incident here took place in July 2015 that killed one person and injured nine others at a massage parlor along San Jose Road.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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