ZAMBOANGA CITY (PNA) – Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar warned Zamboangueños Friday against renewed terror threats in this southern port city.
Salazar said the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) informed her about potential terrorist attacks, specifically bombing in this city following the ongoing military operations in Sulu province.
The mayor said he directed village officials to intensify monitoring, and be on the lookout for suspicious-looking persons and vehicles, abandoned baggage, and other suspicious activities.
Seven Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits were killed in an offshore clash Tuesday near Sulare Island in Parang, Sulu.
Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., commander of Westmincom, said the firefight broke out when the troops aboard a helicopter gunship and a multi-purpose attack craft (MPAC) intercepted a twin-engine speed boat with seven ASG bandits aboard believed on the way to stage abduction in mainland Mindanao.
Salazar said government forces have already strengthened shoreline protection and intensified security measures to ensure that residents are protected.
“But we need the support of the 98 barangays and the residents. Stay alert against people acting suspiciously and suspicious activities in our community,” the mayor said. “Please report to the police, military, or barangay leaders immediately because of the threat of IED (Improvised Explosive Device) bombing in the city.”