One of suspects in MSU bombing arrested in Marawi City — AFP
Updated on December 8, 2023 at 8:37 a.m.
MANILA, Philippines — One of the suspects in a fatal Mindanao State University (MSU) bombing has been arrested and is now under the custody of authorities, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said on Friday.
AFP public affairs chief Col. Xerxes Trinidad identified the suspect as Jafar Gamo Sultan, who was arrested by joint elements of the military’s Task Force Marawi and Marawi City Police on December 6, Wednesday at Barangay Dulay Proper, Marawi City.
Sultan was allegedly the companion of a certain “Omar”, the person identified by witnesses to have placed the improvised explosive device at MSU’s Dimaporo Gymnasium.
“This development shows the seriousness of the government in capturing the perpetrators of the terrorist attack on innocent civilians and in ensuring that similar incidents will not happen again,” Trinidad said in a statement.
The Philippine National Police said the two other suspects of the bombing — identified as Kadapi Mimbesa and Arsani Membisa — are members of the Maute Group of the Islamic State-inspired Daulah Islamiyah. These suspects remain at large.
However, it is not yet clear if Sultan is also a member of the Maute group.
Four people died and 50 others were wounded after a bomb exploded inside the gymnasium of the MSU during the celebration of a Catholic mass on Dec. 3.
The Islamic State of East Asia Province claimed responsibility for the terror attack, but Trinidad previously said that the AFP is still investigating if the transnational radical group is directly involved.