Search for terrorist leads to traffic jam in SingaporeMarch 6th, 2008 - 7:42 pm ICT by admin
Singapore, March 6 (DPA) An intensive search for accused terrorist Mas Selamat Kastari led to complaints Thursday from motorists held up as long as 15 hours in traffic jams at Singapore’s two border crossings. Lines of lorries extended up to 10 km from the Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints to Malaysia more than a week after the escape of the 47-year-old man accused of plotting six years ago to hijack a plane and crash it into Singapore’s Changi airport.
The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) urged drivers to be patient during the biggest manhunt in the city-state’s history.
The intensive checks will continue till this weekend, the ICA said, the beginning of school holidays.
Many drivers said they are losing money by the hour and facing pressure from the employers to make deliveries.
“For two days, I haven’t bathed and I haven’t slept or eaten properly,” the Straits Times quoted Wan Kim Poh as saying. “I’ve got such a headache explaining to my boss.”
Mas Selamat, the alleged Singapore leader of the Jamaah Islamiah (JI) South-East Asian terrorism network, escaped from the Internal Security Department’s detention centre Feb 27 after being granted permission to use the bathroom, authorities said.
Indonesia’s army has beefed up border patrols and set up roadblocks. The Java-born Mas Selamat fled Singapore in December 2001 and was subsequently arrested twice in Indonesia for violating the country’s immigration laws. He was sent back to Singapore in 2006.
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