POSTED: 9:40 a.m. HST, Dec 15, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 9:43 a.m. HST, Dec 15, 2012
MANILA » Philippine police have killed a suspected Malaysian terrorist who allegedly was planning a bomb attack in one of the largest cities in the country's south, police said today.
The suspected terrorist, identified as Mohd Noor Fikrie Bin Abd Kahar, was fatally shot by police late Friday following a scuffle inside a hotel where he and his Filipino wife had checked in, Davao city police chief Ronald de la Rosa said.
De la Rosa said that as the couple was checking out, he tried to grab a backpack that the woman was holding containing a homemade bomb. Officers, meanwhile, tried to seize the man, who broke free and threatened to detonate the device.
"You want the bomb? You want the bomb? Shoot me! Shoot me! I will explode the bomb," de la Rosa quoted the man as saying. This prompted officers and people in the hotel lobby to scamper out for safety, the police chief said.
The 26-year-old Malaysian and his wife then ran into the street, where they hugged each other as the man raised a cellphone, threatening to use it to trigger the bomb, de la Rosa said.
The man grabbed the backpack from his wife and ran toward a park full of Friday night revelers, leaving the woman, who was taken into custody by police, de la Rosa told The Associated Press by telephone from Davao, about 980 kilometers (612 miles) south of Manila, the capital.
Alert guards locked the park's gate, and the man, still raising his hand that held the cellphone, ran into a packed restaurant, where a sniper shot him twice in the chest. The man did not immediately fall, so other officers fired at him and killed him, de la Rosa said.
The bomb, which was subsequently defused, was fashioned from a mortar shell, he said.
He said intelligence reports indicated terrorists planned to explode a bomb in Davao, a bustling port city and a regional commercial hub on the main southern island of Mindanao.
Officers were led by intelligence agents Friday to the hotel where the couple was staying, de la Rosa said, adding that the agents had received a tip from a "very reliable source."
De la Rosa said the man's wife, Annabel Nieva Lee, a convert to Islam, was under interrogation. He declined to give details.
The suspect's passport showed he left Malaysia via Sabah on April 27 and arrived in the Philippines' the next day.
De la Rosa said he stayed in southern Zamboanga City and moved to the predominantly Muslim Cotabato City where he stayed before travelling to Davao on Friday.