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MILF says Isulan bombing could have been carried out by ISIS

/ 04:45 PM August 29, 2018

Wounded victims in the bomb explosion are seen at the Sultan Kudarat Provincial Hospital in Isulan town in the southern Philippine province of Sultan Kudarat, Tuesday night, August 28, 2018. Jeoffrey Maitem Inquirer Mindanao

ISULAN, SULTAN KUDARAT — A senior leader of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) said Wednesday the bomb attack in this town that left two people dead and dozens of others wounded could have been perpetrated by Islamic State militants.

“If they look at the kind of signature as well the way the attack was carried out, it was pointing towards the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria direction,” Mohaqher Iqbal, MILF chief peace negotiator, told the Inquirer.

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Earlier, the Maryland-based SITE Intelligence Group, an American company that tracks online activity of white supremacist and jihadist organizations, said the Islamic State’s (IS) East Asia Province claimed bombing Filipino soldiers in Isulan, the capital of Sultan Kudarat.

“We condemn it,” Iqbal said. “It’s the handiwork of bloody-minded people and it serves no purpose. Those who perpetrated the bombing are peace spoilers,” he added.

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The blast, which occurred days after President Duterte ordered the military to intensify their offensive against the IS-linked Abu Sayyaf in Mindanao, was the second to hit in a month in Mindanao where the government is implementing a military rule.

The explosive, placed inside a motorbike went off around 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday in front of a business establishment along the highway in the village of Kalawag 3 in this town.

On July 31, at least 11 people were killed and several others wounded when a van allegedly carrying explosives exploded outside a checkpoint in the Island city of Lamitan in Basilan.

The ISIS, with their allies in the Abu Sayyaf, also claimed responsibility for the attack although it was quickly brushed aside by the military.

Apart from bombings, the Abu Sayyaf has been wanted for the beheadings of hostages, including a German national and two Canadians in the last two years.

It was also blamed for blowing up a passenger ferry on Manila Bay that killed more than 100 people in 2004.

One of its commanders, Isnilon Hapilon, became the leader of the Philippines’ IS faction and last year led an attack on the southern city of Marawi, a former major Muslim trading hub.

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Hapilon was killed near the end of the five-month siege that destroyed the city and left at least 1,200 people dead.

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TAGS: abu sayyaf, Bomb attack, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Isulan, MILF, Mohaqher Iqbal, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, SITE Intelligence Group, Sultan Kudarat
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