The air force raided a suspected hideout of Al Qaeda-linked militants in the southern Philippines and recovered a powerful bomb believed intended for use in an attack, an official said Wednesday.

A tip by residents led air force intelligence agents Monday to the hideout in the rural, banana-growing district of Tagum in Davao city, where they found a pipe bomb in a black bag, air force spokesman Maj. Augusto dela Pena said.

Muslim militants apparently fled just before the raid because food found on a table was still hot. The bomb, which could be set off by a cell phone, only lacked a battery, the spokesman said.

The bomb was powerful enough to wreck a car or a small house, he said.

The military has been receiving tips of possible impending terror attacks in Davao, he said. The sprawling port city's airport and a wharf were bombed by suspected militants in 2003, killing more than 40 people.

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