Philippines arrests suspected pro-Daesh militant over Marawi siege

Above, weapons and Daesh flags recovered from militants during an encounter with Philippine military forces in Sultan Kudarat on the southern island of Mindanao in this November 26, 2015 photo. Hundreds of Daesh gunmen seized Marawi in May last year, triggering a five-month battle that claimed more than 1,100 lives. (AFP)
Updated 05 March 2018
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Philippines arrests suspected pro-Daesh militant over Marawi siege

MANILA: Philippine police announced on Monday the arrest of a suspected pro-Daesh militant accused of killing civilians in last year’s deadly siege of the southern city of Marawi.
Hundreds of gunmen flying black Daesh flags seized Marawi in May last year, triggering a five-month battle that claimed more than 1,100 lives, in a bid to establish a caliphate in the largely Catholic country.
Nasser Lomondot was arrested on Saturday in Manila, months after he fled the fighting in Marawi.
“He participated in the killing of innocent civilians and committed violence against female and child hostages,” regional military spokesman Major Ronald Suscano told reporters.
As government forces battled to wrest back control of Marawi, Lomondot directed a diversionary attack by pro-Daesh gunmen in the neighboring town of Marantao, Suscano added.
“He was one of the key planners of the attack in Marantao town ... while the firefight was still ongoing” in Marawi, Suscano said.
Lomondot was arrested with a second pro-Daesh suspect, Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde said in a statement.
The Philippine military warned last month that the remaining militants from Marawi have mustered a force of about 200 gunmen to launch a second attempt to put up a caliphate in the country’s south.


UK interior minister says was victim of moped theft, pledges police action

Updated 5 min 39 sec ago
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UK interior minister says was victim of moped theft, pledges police action

LONDON: Britain’s interior minister, Sajid Javid, said on Sunday that his phone had been stolen by moped-riding thieves several months ago and that he was seeking changes to police rules to help tackle the growing problem.
Moped theft, in which attackers surprise pedestrians and grab phones and bags, is one of several violent crimes in London that have attracted national attention. Earlier this year, a spate of stabbings briefly pushed London’s murder rate ahead of New York’s.
In an interview with the Sun on Sunday newspaper, Javid said the incident occurred outside London’s Euston station as he went to make a phone call. It happened before he took up his job in charge of domestic security.
“I was walking out of Euston station and reached for my phone to call a taxi ... before I knew what was happening, it had gone. They just rode up, grabbed it and zoomed off,” he said.
Javid, seen by some as a potential challenger to Prime Minister Theresa May, was appointed in April after a scandal over the treatment of legal migrants led to the resignation of his predecessor.
Javid said that while overall crime levels were down, he would make tackling rising knife crime and serious violence a priority. He wants to change rules which prevent police from chasing suspects on mopeds if they are not wearing helmets.
“It’s ridiculous. Police should be allowed to get on with the job,” he said. “If someone commits a crime and police want to pursue them, they should have much more freedom to.”