ZAMBOANGA CITY: Police on Friday raided the house of a former rebel chieftain Nur Misuari as clearing operations continue in villages that hundreds of gunmen occupied in Zamboanga City in southern Philippines.
Police said the Misuari’s house in the village of San Roque was empty, but raiders seized many documents.
It was not immediately known whether police forces found any weapons or explosives in the bungalow, but a police spokesman said a local court issued a warrant to search the house which stands near a creek.
“The subject of the search warrant is explosives, components for improvised explosive devices, unlicensed firearms and documents. We have recovered several items,” said Chief Inspector Ariel Huesca.
He said police forces set off a charge on the front gate of the house to be able to enter the sprawling compound which was heavily guarded by former rebels in the past. Several towers could be seen from the outside the house despite its tall wall.
Inside the compound were several small buildings and a basketball court and MNLF streamers and tarpaulin signs.
The area has been under tight guard since September 9 when hundreds of Misuari’s supporters led by his lieutenant Ustadz Khabir Malik stormed several villages and took more than 200 people hostage.
The fighting left more than 400 people dead and wounded that resulted in a humanitarian crisis following the exodus of more than 100,000 villagers. AL JACINTO