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Philippine police say they thwarted bomb attack

Published on Nov 11, 2012 3:57 PM

ZAMBOANGA, Philippines (AFP) - Police in the southern Philippines said on Sunday that they had arrested three members of the Al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group and thwarted a bomb attack.

Intelligence operatives intercepted the men on Thursday night on the island of Basilan, a known hotbed of the extremists, regional police said in a statement.

Police said they seized two motorcycles, one of which was rigged with explosives, as well as handguns. They said the three allegedly planned to set off the bomb in a heavy populated urban area.

The suspects were members of a squad responsible for carrying out sabotage attacks to divert military and police attention as other members stage kidnappings, police said.

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