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Cops raid Manila Islamic centre

MANILA Philippine police raided an Islamic centre in Manila and briefly detained scores of people as part of heightened security before a major Catholic festival, a spokesman said yesterday.

Two men were arrested for illegal drugs during the raid on the Islamic Centre on Saturday, as authorities warned of possible attacks by Islamic militants when the Feast of the Black Nazarene reaches its peak today.

"This is part of security preparations for the Feast of the Black Nazarene," Chief Inspector Marissa Bruno, spokesman for the Manila police, told AFP.

She said 82 other people at the centre had been taken to a police station but were released when it was found they had no warrants outstanding.

She denied that police had targeted the Islamic Centre, which includes a mosque, saying that other parts of the city had also been subjected to police operations.

Authorities have been on alert for possible attacks by Islamic militants to disrupt the Black Nazarene event, which is expected to attract millions of Filipinos.

Security forces ...are wary that extremists may seek revenge for the killing of a pro- Islamic State in Iraq and Syria militant leader last week.

Security forces have said there is no report of a "direct threat" to the festival this year but they are wary extremists may seek revenge for the killing of a pro-Islamic State in Iraq and Syria militant leader last week.

Founder and leader of the Ansarul Khilafa Philippines, Mohammad Jaafar Maguid, also known as Tokboy, was killed by security forces last Thursday. - AFP

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