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IS MILITANTS LINKED TO BOMBING

Swede, 6 others charged in Sultan Kudarat blast

ISULAN, SULTAN KUDARAT—The police have charged seven people, including a Swede, in connection with the Sept. 7 roadside bombing near this town’s public market that injured eight people.

A complaint for multiple frustrated murders against the seven suspects was filed at the provincial prosecutor’s office here on Oct. 3, said Police Brig. Gen. Alfred Corpus, police director in Central Mindanao.

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Of the seven suspects, two remain at large and are now being hunted by the police and military.

Corpus said five of the suspects were tagged as either sympathizers or members of an Islamic State (IS)-linked group.

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Four of them, identified as Normia Antao Camsa, Norshiya Joven Camsa, Abedin Camsa alias “Beds” and Hassan Akgun, a Swede, were arrested on Sept. 23 at Barangay Kapaya in Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat, after a court-sanctioned search of the house they were staying.

Guns, bullets, improvised bombs and bomb-making materials were recovered from them.

On the same day, the fifth suspect, Kamlon Tongab Camsa, was arrested at a police checkpoint in General Santos City. Recovered from him were two grenades.

Kamlon denied he owned the grenades, saying he was on his way to attend a seminar of a farmers and the irrigators’ association.

But Police Lt. Col. Lino Capellan of the police in Central Mindanao, said a closed circuit television footage showed that the grenades were found in Kamlon’s backpack.

Kamlon also denied any hand in the Sept. 7 bombing in Insulan.

The two other suspects, who remained at large, were Rashid Joven Camsa and Maira Tungab Alimao. Corpus asked the public to cooperate with authorities by giving information that would lead to the arrest of the two.

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The bombing was linked to the extortion activities of IS-linked militants. The improvised bomb was left the night before Sept. 7, and exploded in the middle of parked motorbikes in front of the Isulan public market.

In Maguindanao province, the government of Rajah Buayan has claimed to have driven IS-linked militants out of the town through the help of residents.

Rajah Buayan Mayor Zamzamin Ampatuan credited the residents who volunteered information to the local government, the police and military for the achievement.

This way authorities were able to keep tabs of the movement of the militants in the villages and launch operations to pursue them, Ampatuan said.

“While we can’t say that our town is already drug-cleared, we can brag about its being BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters)-cleared now,” Ampatuan told members of the Bangsamoro Regional Peace and Order Council during a security conference here last week.

He said he hoped their efforts in Rajah Buayan could help “defeat extremism and prevent its growth in the province.”

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TAGS: blast, Explosion, Local news, Mindanao, Philippine news update
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