Police confirm foiled bomb attack on US embassy had links to ISIS

An 81mm mortar shell which was detonated after it was found inside a suspicious package near the U.S. Embassy is presented to reporters by Philippine National Police Chief Gen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa, center, during a press conference in Manila, Philippines on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. Manila police detonated a suspected bomb found Monday in a trash bin just a few meters (yards) from the U.S. Embassy, snarling morning traffic after authorities closed a portion of a major boulevard where the device was found. No one was reported hurt in the incident. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

, Nov 28 (EFE).- The Philippine police confirmed Monday that they thwarted an alleged attack by a group with links to the Islamic State near the United States in .

“There is no hard evidence yet but an argument can be made that a foiled attack can be the handiwork of Maute group,” Philippines National Police Chief Ronald de la Rosa said in a televised press conference.

De la Rosa explained that the is similar to the one used in the attack in the southern Davao city in September in which 14 people were killed and after which several members of the IS-affiliated Maute group were arrested.

“Design, composition and the way it is connected bear the same signature,” he added, without confirming if the US was the target of the attack.

De la Rosa said security forces were on high alert throughout the country and asked the public to cooperate.

“I’m appealing to the public, if you see threats lurking around, report,” he said.

National Capital Region Police Office Chief Oscar Albayalde said that police checkposts will be set up on the roads of starting Monday evening.

Earlier on Monday, the Philippine police safely detonated an improvised near the US in , comprising a mobile phone connected to a circular black object with a cable.

The incident comes at a time when the Philippines army is clashing with members of the Maute group in Butig in the southern province of Lanao del Sur.

19 rebels have been killed in the clashes and 13 soldiers wounded since Saturday.

The Maute group is an armed Muslim organization based in Lanao del Sur, which burst into the national scene in 2012 as the Khilafah Islamiya Movement.

It is presently led by the brothers Abdullah and Omar Maute, who studied in Egypt and Jordan respectively, according to the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict.

© 2016 EFE News Services (U.S.) Inc.

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