MANILA : Philippines police arrested 16 Islamic militants planning to carry out suicide bombings on a Roman Catholic procession in the capital this weekend. The suspects, including three women, were detained after police raided a Muslim library in downtown Manila.
Most appeared to be Filipino, with two of the suspects denying being part of a terrorist plot.
“The scenario is, these would be the suicide bombers in the Feast of the Black Nazarene,” said Senior Superintendent Elmer Jamias, referring to an annual Catholic procession in downtown Manila on Sunday.
“They would rig their bodies with bombs, join the procession, and blow themselves up. God made sure this would not happen,” Jamias told reporters Friday.
“We seized three improvised explosive devices, a caliber .-45 and a caliber .38 guns,” said Chief Superintendent Pedro Bulaong, Manila’s police chief. Journalists on the scene said grenades were also found.
Tens of thousands of Catholic devotees, barefoot and wearing maroon tunics, take part in the annual January 9 procession in which an ebony icon of Jesus is taken from Manila’s Quiapo church and paraded around the district.
“These terrorists are in the majority muslims converts”