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Manila on high terror alert after two attempted terror attacks in two days

Police officials said they arrested two "persons of interest" in connection with an attempted bombing at the U.S. embassy, one day before a successful bombing of President Rodrigo Duterte's advance team.

By
Stephen Feller
Police in the Philippines detained two men on Wednesday in connection with an IED found outside the U.S. embassy Monday morning, parts of which were shown to reporters at a press conference on Nov. 28. The attempted bombing was one of two this week, with the other injuring several people in Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's advance team on Tuesday. Photo by Mark R. Cristino/European Pressphoto Agency
Police in the Philippines detained two men on Wednesday in connection with an IED found outside the U.S. embassy Monday morning, parts of which were shown to reporters at a press conference on Nov. 28. The attempted bombing was one of two this week, with the other injuring several people in Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's advance team on Tuesday. Photo by Mark R. Cristino/European Pressphoto Agency

MANILA, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Officials in the Philippines raised the terror alert level to its highest point there in 16 years following an attempted bombing at the U.S. embassy on Monday and successful bombing of President Rodrigo Duterte's advance team on Tuesday.

The security alert in the Philippines was raised to Level 3 on Thursday morning, officials said, a day after they arrested two men in connection with the attempted embassy bombing. Security is expected to be increased around the country and police say to expect more raids on suspected terrorists.

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The two people arrested in connection to a bomb found outside the U.S. embassy by a street sweeper were described by National Capital Region Police Office Chief Superintendent Oscar Albayalde as "persons of interest," but not necessarily suspects.

The two men are members of Ansar al-Khalifa, one of several groups in Mindanao inspired by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh. Government forces have been going after terror groups in Mindanao, including killing 19 militants during a raid after an attack last week.

The IED found Monday is similar to one used in Davao City in September that killed at least 14 people. Had it detonated, Albavalde said it would have affected everything within a 330-foot radius.

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Tuesday's attack on Duterte's advance team in Mindanao injured seven members of the Presidential Broadcast Staff and two soldiers. Duterte held his scheduled visit the next day with no problems.

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