Philippine police say they thwarted bomb attack
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.