Police raid Misuari's home
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – Philippine police on Friday, October 4, blasted their way into the home of Nur Misuari, seizing documents and other items in the dawn raid, an official said.
Chief Inspector Ariel Huesca told Agence France-Presse that officers had to use explosives to enter the locked residential compound belonging to Misuari on the outskirts of the city.
"The Philippine National Police were forced to deploy an access charge. No one was arrested," said Huesca earlier. The police spokesman for the southern region, Huesca added that Misuari was not at the property.
Government troops found components of an improvised explosive device (IED), Monotom bombs, ammunition of mortar, Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) subversive documents, and maps and tarpaulin of MNLF and other personalities.
In a press release later that day, police said that the government arrested a Malaysian national and a suspected MNLF member.
Police have asked prosecutors to bring charges against Misuari and his followers, who fought street battles with police and troops in Zamboanga last month in which more than 200 people died.
Misuari is accused of sending his armed MNLF followers to Zamboanga on September 9 to try to block a proposed peace deal between the government and a rival Muslim rebel group.
The government accused the gunmen of taking civilian hostages and setting fire to more than 10,000 homes.
It declared the rebel action crushed on Saturday, September 28, with the release of the last of 195 hostages.
Huesca said police were ordered to arrest Misuari and seize munitions that may have been stored in the high-walled compound in a middle-class residential district about 7 kilometer from the scene of the fighting.
Muslim rebels have been fighting since the 1970s for an independent or autonomous homeland in the south of the mainly Catholic Philippines.
The MNLF, founded by Misuari, signed a peace treaty in 1996 that granted limited self-rule to the south's Muslim minority.
However, the group opposes a planned peace deal between the government and the remaining major Muslim rebel group, the 12,000-strong Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which could effectively sideline Misuari. - with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com