Philippine police check for any Manila terror attack plan but say nothing confirmed

Philippine members of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) patrol a neighborhood.
Philippine members of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) patrol a neighborhood. PHOTO: AFP

MANILA (REUTERS) - Philippine police said on Tuesday (June 20) they were checking reports that militants might be plotting bombs in the capital, but they had no confirmation of any plan and the public should not be alarmed by a leaked police report on possible attacks.

Police in Manila have been on high alert since fighting erupted last month in Marawi City in the south of the predominantly Christian country between the military and militants linked to Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

"We have no confirmation whatsoever of any terror attack in Manila," Police Director Oscar Albayalde told ANC television, responding to concern about a leaked police intelligence report warning of bomb attacks that spread on social media.

He said the leaked report was genuine but said it contained raw information that was distributed to police units to check and seek verification.

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The internal memo, dated June 16, said police had information that members of the Maute group - the ISIS-linked faction that is fighting in Marawi - were planning to set off bombs in the capital.

 
 

"The content of the memorandum is meant for validation and confirmation, it's not meant to scare the public," Albayalde said, adding that he had ordered an investigation into how the document was leaked.

He said police were "on top of the situation" and people should not be alarmed.

Financial markets were largely unruffled by fears of violence. Philippine stocks were down marginally while the peso earlier touched a one-month low, tracking other weaker Asian currencies.

The battle in Marawi has entered its fifth week.

On Tuesday, military aircraft bombed rebel positions and ground troops launched a renewed push against the militants holed up in a section of the city.