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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 March, 2005, 13:05 GMT
Manila foils Easter 'bombing plot'
By Sarah Toms
BBC News, Manila

Philippine policemen patrol the vicinity with vendors selling decorative palms for Palm Sunday in front of a major cathedral in the largely-Roman Catholic Philippines, 20 March 2005.
Police are on alert ahead of Easter celebrations
The Philippine military has arrested a suspected Muslim militant and found explosives believed to have been stored away for attacks on Manila over Easter.

Soldiers and police stepped up security this week after Muslim group the Abu Sayyaf vowed revenge for the deaths of several rebels in a prison uprising.

The military arrested the suspect, Tyron Santos, who was a convert to Islam, on Tuesday.

He led soldiers to 10 sacks of explosives and 18 improvised bombs.

They were in an abandoned house in Metro Manila.

Security has been tightened at train and bus terminals, airports, shopping malls, parks and churches, as Filipinos in the mainly Roman Catholic country prepare to celebrate the religious holiday of Easter.

Failed jail break

The police warned of bombing plots after the Abu Sayyaf threatened to bring the war to Manila following a police assault on a prison in the capital.

The police killed 22 prisoners in the raid, including several suspected senior Abu Sayyaf commanders.

The Abu Sayyaf, which is allegedly linked to al-Qaeda, has claimed responsibility for three coordinated bombings on Valentine's Day, that killed 13 people and wounded 150.

The three blasts in February happened during a military offensive against Abu Sayyaf camps on the Philippine island of Jolo.




SEE ALSO:
Bloody end to Manila jail break
15 Mar 05 |  Asia-Pacific
In pictures: Police storm Manila jail
15 Mar 05 |  In Pictures
Profiles of dead Abu Sayyaf leaders
15 Mar 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Manila sends more troops to Jolo
11 Feb 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Guide to the Philippines conflict
30 Mar 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: The Philippines
08 Jan 05 |  Country profiles


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