MSU blast may be response to killing of ASG, Daulah Islamiyah leaders – AFP
MANILA, Philippines — The killings of leaders of the Abu Sayyaf Group and the Daulah Islamiya last week could be a reason for last Sunday’s bombing that killed four people and wounded 50 others at the Mindanao State University in Marawi City.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is looking into that possibility, Colonel Xerxes Trinidad, its public affairs office chief told reporters in an interview on Monday at Camp Aguinaldo.
“One of the angles we are looking at are the recent developments and accomplishments of the Army on the ground,” Trinidad said.
Trinidad was referring to the killings of a suspected leader of the Daulah Islamiyah, an Islamic State-inspired group, and 10 other fighters in Datu Hofer town, Maguindanao del Sur, last Friday, Dec. 1, and the killing of local Abu Sayyaf leader Mudzimar Sawadjaa on Saturday, Dec. 2.
“The AFP has gained headway in actually clearing the area here in Mindanao where there were significant neutralizations,” Trinidad said.
“They are making their presence felt, still, even though they are on the verge of extinction.”
Last Sunday, four persons died and 50 others were wounded after a bomb exploded inside the Dimaporo Gym at MSU during the celebration of a Catholic Mass.
The IS claimed responsibility for the bombing, and Trinidad said that the AFP is looking into the possibility that the IS-inspired Daulah Islamiyah’s Maute Group could be one of those responsible for the bombing.