The Philippine military on Wednesday said they have foiled a terrorist attack in the southern city of Davao following the recovery of a bomb allegedly assembled by a man who has linkages with the Abu Sayyaf and the regional terrorist network Jemaah Islamiyah (JI).
The bomb was seized by Air Force intelligence personnel during a raid of a safe house in Tagum City near Davao last Tuesday, Air Force spokesman Maj. Augusto dela Pena told reporters, adding that no arrest was made.
"Innocent lives could have lost had the plot succeeded," said dela Pena.
He said that the supposed bombing was a "determined" and "well- planned" move aiming at civilian targets in Davao, the biggest city in the southern Philippines.
The military spokesman said among the targets the terrorists are eyeing in the city are public markets and shopping malls.
Acting on a tip from concerned citizens, dela Pena said the Air Force intelligence personnel were able to pinpoint the storage place of the bomb intended for the Davao City attack.
Dela Pena said the "ready-to-use" bomb was placed inside a black knapsack. It was similar to the bomb used by terrorists in 2003 bombing at the Sasa wharf in Davao City that left several people dead.
The only missing part on the bomb was the battery or an alternative triggering device, he added.
Dela Pena said the bomb was assembled by Abdul Manap Mentang, who was previously arrested in connection with the Sasa wharf bombing but was able to jump bail.
He also said follow-up operations are ongoing against the terrorists.