RealNews

Security Alert Up in Manila

SECURITY officials in the Philippines have been placed on heightened alert following reports that Abu Sayyaf guerrillas could be operating in the capital Manila, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s spokesman said Wednesday. The warning came a day after the military announced the capture of Samir Hakim, an alleged Abu Sayyaf “procurement officer” who was arrested by police at a Manila park earlier this week. Hakim is believed to be among the original members of the Abu Sayyaf when it was founded in the early 1990s. Police said he was among those who seized three Americans and 17 Filipino tourists from the Dos Palmas beach resort in Palawan in 2001. Two of the US hostages were killed, while the rest were subsequently freed, allegedly after ransom payments, or escaped. “It’s already possible that a number of them have slipped through and the President is calling on all the citizenry to cooperate in our fight versus terrorism,” Presidential Spokesman Ignacio Bunye told reporters. Full Story

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