The Military arrested a man with links to a local militant group and seized improvised explosives, preventing an attack on a ferry in the south of the country, navy officials said on Monday.

Captain Geronimo Malabanan, a navy spokesman, said the man was caught on Monday during a raid on a suspected hideout of the Abu Sayyaf group on the island of Jolo. Another man escaped. Improvised explosives, bomb-making materials and documents were found hidden in the ceiling of the house, Malabanan said. “He was caught red-handed,” Malabanan told Reuters. “He belonged to an urban terrorist cell of the Abu Sayyaf led by a certain Alhabsi Misaya, an expert bomber.” A senior navy official said the arrest may have prevented planned attacks by Abu Sayyaf on passenger and cargo ferries in the southern Philippines.

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