Sayyaf tagged in Zamboanga bus blastPhilippine Daily Inquirer
ZAMBOANGA CITY—Police authorities yesterday tagged the Abu Sayyaf as responsible for Thursday night’s explosion that hit a passenger bus and injured six people in Barangay Guiwan here.
Senior Supt. Jaime Mejia, city police chief, said another blast, which was still being determined if related to the 9:40 p.m. explosion aboard a Rural Transit Bus, took place around 11 p.m. near a mosque in Barangay Suterville, but no one was injured.
But the police elevated the alert level to a higher status because of the two incidents.
Mejia said witnesses in the Rural Transit explosion had provided the police descriptions of the two suspected bombers, which led to the conclusion it was the handiwork of the bandit group.
“Based on the description provided by the bus passengers and the bus personnel, [their profile] fitted those of the people we are hunting down and they are members of the Abu Sayyaf Group,” Mejia told the Inquirer.
He did not specify who among those being hunted down resembled the suspects.
The Rural Transit bus was going into the Guiwan Bus Terminal from Pagadian City when an explosion at its rear portion took place.
Among the six passengers injured was 2-year-old Mark Owen Palomar. Mejia said the victims were brought to the hospital.
The other injured victims were Rolando Padilos, 32; Sheryl Posadas; Resis Gatchalian, 56; Daniel Palanas, 22, and Rochelle Sumpo.
During the initial investigation, Mejia said witnesses told the police that the two suspects boarded the bus in Barangay Culianan. They later disembarked when the bus was nearing the bus terminal.
“[The blast] ripped off the rear end of the bus, including its baggage compartment,” he said as he described how powerful the explosion was.
Mejia said police bomb experts were still trying to gather evidence that could help them identify what type of bomb was used in the Rural Transit attack.
He said that while the investigation on the bus explosion was being conducted, another bomb went off near a mosque in Suterville around 11 p.m. No one was injured in the second explosion, which occurred some 100 meters away from a police outpost.
Mejia said the explosions took place amid intelligence reports the Abu Sayyaf would be staging bomb attacks here.
Mejia, meanwhile, said the police evacuated teachers assigned on Licomo Island here following reports of sightings of armed men coming from the nearby town of Tungawan in Zamboanga Sibugay.
But he said it appeared that the reported movement of the armed men and the explosions were unrelated. Julie Alipala, Inquirer Mindanao