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Marwan students may be behind Davao blast

/ 05:40 AM September 08, 2016

KIDAPAWAN CITY—Police arrested a suspected bomb-maker in the town of M’lang in North Cotabato province, and are hunting two other suspects believed to be linked to the recent Davao City night market bombing that killed 14 persons and injured 70 others.

The suspects, among others still being hunted, are believed to be students of Indonesian terrorist Marwan, who was killed in Mamasapano, Maguindanao province last year, police officials said.

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Supt. Bernard Tayong, the spokesperson of the North Cotabato Police Office based in Barangay Amas here, on Wednesday said the suspect, Jokrie Buisan, was arrested during a court-backed raid on a house in Barangay Dunguan in M’lang on Tuesday. Those who eluded arrest were identified as siblings Anwar and Guiamadel Sandigan.

Tayong said the raiding team seized explosives and bomb-making components from the house, as well as “shabu” (methamphetamine hydrocloride), an illegal drug.

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The recovered explosives were being examined to determine if they matched the bomb used in the Sept. 2 explosion at the night market in Davao City. The team found a finished improvised explosive device, fashioned from a 60-millimeter mortar shell, which the suspects might have been preparing for dispatch to a still uncertain target.

Tayong said  foreign-looking persons were seen in Dunguan days before the raid. “They could have been teaching the suspects about bomb making,” he said.

In Manila, Philippine National Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa theorized that “students of killed Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan” could be responsible for last week’s bombing attack in Davao City.

Speaking to the media in Camp Crame, Dela Rosa said this was the new angle in the ongoing investigation of the Davao incident based on the trademark of the improvised explosive device (IED).

“It (the IED used in Davao) can be traced back to the Central Mindanao area where Marwan had trained many students there. While we still don’t have the identity of the suspects, at least we now have a good lead,” he said.

Dela Rosa said he had ordered a further evaluation of the supposed four persons of interest—two women and two men—who were reportedly responsible for the attack.

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He acknowledged that the police intelligence community received earlier information indicating a bombing attack would take place but did not specify the time, date and place.

Earlier, a spokesperson for the extremist Abu Sayyaf group said the Davao bombing was the work of their ally—the so-called Daulat Ul Islamiya.

Meanwhile, bomb scares continue to hound areas in Southern Mindanao after the Sept. 2 explosion in Davao City. In Digos City, the Catholic-run Cor Jesu College on Wednesday suspended classes after a bomb scare. Classes were also disrupted in Davao City on Tuesday following bomb scares at a government-run school in Sta. Ana and at the University of Southeastern Philippines. With reports  from Orlando Dinoy, Inquirer Mindanao; and Cynthia Balana in Manila

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TAGS: abu sayyaf, Davao City bombing, Marwan, news, Terrorism
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