Zambo region police: Backpack ban in worship houses eyed


Posted at Jan 31 2019 11:15 AM | Updated as of Jan 31 2019 12:01 PM

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MANILA -- Authorities in Western Mindanao are studying the imposition of a ban on carrying bags in places of worship after a mosque explosion earlier this week, the region's police chief said Thursday.

On Wednesday, Davao City authorities urged residents not to bring backpacks inside places of worship citing "security reasons."

"We're considering ipagbawal natin iyung pagpasok ng kung ano mang mga bag or backpack sa mga lugar na kagaya nito," Zamboanga police director Chief Supt. Emmanuel Licup told radio DZMM.

(We're considering a ban on bringing any bag or backpack in areas like this.)

Licup did not elaborate on the scope of the ban if it is implemented.

On Wednesday, motorcycle-riding suspects lobbed a grenade into the mosque in Zamboanga City, where Muslim preachers were sleeping, leaving 2 people killed.

The attack came 3 days after 2 bombs ripped through a Catholic cathedral in Jolo island, about an hour by plane from Zamboanga City. A witness said a woman left the Jolo explosives, but the Islamic State claimed its 2 suicide bombers were behind the attack.

Rescue personnel work to resuscitate a victim after a grenade attack on a mosque in Zamboanga, January 30, 2019, in this still image taken from a video from social media. Zamboanga Quick Response System/via Reuters

Investigators have yet to identify the motive in the mosque blast.

The police on Wednesday held interfaith dialogues across the region and will soon talk with business establishments on how to tighten the area's security, said Licup.

-- DZMM, 31 January 2019