Terror alert raised to highest level in Zamboanga City
ZAMBOANGA CITY—Law enforcers in the city had been placed on high alert for terror attacks, according to Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar.
“There are terror threats in Zamboanga City,” Salazar said at an online press briefing.
The threats included bombings and kidnappings, the mayor said.
Salazar, however, said the military’s Western Mindanao Command was already aware of the threats. Security was being coordinated by the Regional Peace and Order Council, which the mayor chairs.
Maj. Yashier Sarikin, Zamboanga City police spokesperson, confirmed Salazar’s information.
“Zamboanga City is always under threat,” Sarikin said. “We can never downplay any reports this time,” he said.
Terrorists, Sarikin added, “can strike anytime.” “We also see other threat groups from our neighboring regions and cities,” he said. “This is the reason all the intelligence operatives joined forces,” he added.
Sarikin disclosed that last Nov. 25, police operatives intercepted a pump boat speeding towards the city with three suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf group on board.
A clash between the police and the armed men followed, killing the three suspected terrorists identified as Radi Nalul Tahirin, Hasan Alimin and Abdilla Aspalin.
The police recovered a cache of explosives and two caliber .45 pistols, raising the suspicion the terror suspects were on a bombing mission, Sarikin said.
Salazar asked residents of the city’s 98 villages to stay vigilant. “We are all working to prevent these attacks,” she said.
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