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Bisaya Bloggers » Bombing

Feb 02 2008

Extort Group Owns Up Bombing In Mindanao

A security guard of the Philbest Canning Corporation in General Santos City in southern Philippines stands Saturday, February 2, 2008 near the site where a bomb had exploded last week killing four people. (Mindanao Examiner Photo/Gandhi C. Kinjiyo)

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Feb. 02, 2008) – A shadowy group calling itself the Al-Khobar gang has allegedly owned to a recent bombing in the southern Philippines, reports said.

Reports said the gang, composed mostly of former Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels and criminals, claimed the January 30 bombing outside the Philbest Canning Corporation in the village of Tambler that killed four people and wounded at least 28 others.

An explosive was left on a parked motorcycle outside the factory where it detonated as employees were coming out of the Philbest compound. Police initially blamed labor disputes at the factory and failed extortion as the motive of the attack.

Police and military also linked the group to previous bombings in strife-torn region the past years. Al-Khobar was behind many extortion activities in Mindanao. (Gandhi C. Kinjiyo)

Jan 04 2008

Authorities Foil New Bombing Attempt In Mindanao


Policemen take cover Friday, Jan. 04, 2008 as a bomb expert prepare to disrupt a suspected IED in Cotabato City in southern Philippines. (Mindanao Examiner Photo Service/Mark Navales)

COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Jan. 04, 2008) – Philippine security forces detonated a homemade bomb left near a Catholic school in Cotabato City in Mindanao, officials said.Officials said the bomb, placed inside a doughnut box, was left near the Notre Dame University. Police said a witness saw a man left the box on a sidewalk and hurriedly took a passenger jeep.The witness, who was suspicious of the man, informed the police about the box which turned to contain a suspected improvised explosive device.“The bomb was immediately detonated,” one police officer told the Mindanao Examiner.The discovery of the bomb came barely a day after an IED, planted at pub in Cotabato City, exploded and killed a woman and injured seven people. No group claimed responsibility for the bombing.It was unknown if the attack or the foiled bombing had anything to do with the capture of a local militant whose group called al-Khobar is blamed by authorities for the spate of bombings and extortion activities in Mindanao.

Security forces arrested Tony Nur, believed to be a nom de guerre, in Maguindanao province on Thursday. Nur was tagged as behind the series of attacks in Maguindanao and North Cotabato provinces, including the spate of bombings in Kidapawan City.

His group is also implicated in many attacks on commuter buses in the south.

Last month, government agents arrested an Egyptian cleric, Mohammad Al-Sayed and seized from his hideout in Cotabato City assorted explosives. The foreigner was freed two days later after the Egyptian Embassy interceded for his release. (Mark Navales)

Dec 24 2007

3 Hurt In Southern RP Bombing



Filipino and US bomb experts and police scene of crime officers examine the scene where an improvised bomb exploded Monday Dec. 24, 2007 in Cotabato city, wounding at least three people, including a two-year-old boy days after Australia warned of a possible terrorist attack in the country over Christmas. The Australian Embassy posted a travel advisory on its Web site Saturday warning Australians to steer clear of places frequented by foreigners, and strongly advised against travel in the southern region of Mindanao, where al-Qaeda-linked militants are active. (Mindanao Examiner Photo/Mark Navales)

COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Dec. 24, 2007) – A homemade exploded on Monday in the southern Philippines and wounding at least 3 people, police and military said.

The bomb was detonated outside a barber shop in downtown Cotabato City in Maguindanao province in the Muslim autonomous region. Authorities said a two-year old boy, Tutuh Balaumol, was among the wounded.

US military bomb experts were spotted assisting Filipino soldiers and policemen in investigating the blast. The US soldiers wore no patches nor nameplates, but military uniform.

No group has claimed responsibility for the blast, but the bombing came days after Australia warned of a possible terrorist attack in the Philippines over Christmas.

The strife-torn autonomous region has been target of terrorist attacks over the past years.

Last week, police and military agents arrested an Egyptian national suspected as being an al-Qaeda operative in Cotabato City, but freed him over the weekend after a Filipino court allowed Mohammed El-Sayed to post bail.

The foreigner, initially identified as Mohammad Said, is a preacher.

Philippine authorities said agents seized from the Egyptian man assorted bomb-making materials and a homemade explosive, including a combat manual of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the country’s largest Muslim rebel group which is currently negotiating peace with Manila.

The MILF has denied links with the foreigner. Police also arrested four Turkish nationals in Cotabato City on mere suspicion they were terrorists only to be freed days later.

(Mark Navales)

Dec 12 2007

Poll Officer’s House Bombed In South RP

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Dec. 13, 2007) – A homemade bomb exploded in front of the house of a regional elections official in the southern Philippine province of Sulu, but the attack had killed no one, police and military said on Thursday.

It said the bombing came just two days ahead of special village and youth elections in Sulu and seven other provinces in Mindanao.

The attack before dawn targeted the house of lawyer Vidzfar Julie in the town of Indanan. No one was killed or injured in the blast that damaged the facade of the house.

No group or individual claimed responsibility for the bombing, but authorities suspect the blast had something to do with special elections on Saturday.

Julie was not in the province at the time of the attack, police said.

But the blast was the second in recent week in the province. A bomb was also detonated December 9 in front of the office of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in Sulu’s Patikul town.

Julie, a former poll supervisor in Sulu, is now the chief of the COMELEC in the Muslim autonomous region.

Elections in May failed in some towns in Sulu because of the presence of gunmen and many teachers tapped as poll officers did not report for work due to threats to their lives.

Others refused to work because of non-payments of their salaries since early this year by the Department of Education in the autonomous region. (Mindanao Examiner)

Dec 08 2007

Poll Office Bombed In South RP

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanao Examiner / Dec. 09, 2007) – A homemade bomb exploded at the Commission on Elections ahead of a special polls in the southern Philippine province of Sulu, officials said Sunday.

The explosion late Saturday damaged the door of the office, but there were no reports of injuries, said Jainab Abdulmajid, of the Sulu Area Coordinating Center.

«It was a small explosion, but the office door was damaged by the blast,» she told the Mindanao Examiner.

Sulu military chief Maj. Gen. Reuben Rafael said the blast occurred at around 10.30 p.m. «We have deployed soldiers to secure the area. We still do not know who is behind this bombing,» he said in a separate interview.

He said the bomb, made from ammonium nitrate, was left at a garbage bin in front of the provincial office of the Commission on Elections near Jolo town. «There is an investigation going on,» he said.

Brig. Gen. Ruperto Pabustan, commander of army special forces in the province, said more soldiers were deployed to patrol the area. «We have forces deployed to help policemen secure the province ahead of the special polls,» he also said.

Pabustan said there is an ongoing operation against rebels in Sulu. The blast came ahead of special village and youth elections in Sulu and seven other provinces on December 15.

Sulu Gov. Sakur Tan has ordered an investigation into the blast and additional police forces in the town. «We will go to the bottom of this. We will not allow this criminal act. We are peaceful in Sulu and I have ordered the police to find the perpetrator of this blast,» he said.

Elections in May failed in some towns in Sulu because many teachers tapped as poll officers did not report for work due to threats to their lives.

Others had refused to work because of non-payments of their salaries since early this year by the Department of Education in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. (Mindanao Examiner)

Nov 23 2007

Sayyaf Man Linked To Congress Bombing Nabbed In Basilan Island

LAMITAN CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Nov. 23, 2007) – Police arrested a man in the southern province of Basilan implicated in the bombing of the Philippine House of Representative.

The man, surnamed Indama, was believed to be a member of the Abu Sayyaf, the group tagged as behind the Nov. 13 bombing that killed Basilan Representative Wahab Akbar and three other congressional aides. More than a dozen people were also injured in the attack, including two lawmakers.

Officials did not give details of the arrest, but it coincided in heightened security in Basilan after intelligence reports said that one of Akbar’s wives, Cherry Lyn Akbar, the mayor of Isabela City, is the target of an assassination.

Akbar’s other wife, Jum Akbar, the governor of Basilan, has also been provided added security.

“The mayor has a threat to her life and security has been stepped up to protect her from harm and so is the other members of the Akbar families,” Chris Puno, the provincial spokesman, told the Mindanao Examiner.

It was unknown if the arrested man had anything to do with the threats in the life of Akbar. But local television reports said the man was plotting to kill the mayor.

Security forces killed three men implicated in the bombing in a firefight Nov. 15 in Payatas village in Quezon City.

Three other accomplices, one of them, Ikram Indama had an identification card of the House of Representatives and former driver of ex-Basilan Representative Abdulgani Salapuddin, were also arrested.

Salapuddin is a political opponent of Akbar. Soldiers and policemen recovered documents linked to a motorcycle used in the bombing. Police said the bombing targeted Akbar.

Police also charged a fourth suspect, Benjamin Hataman, a cousin of Basilan party-list Representative Mujiv Hataman, also a political foe of Akbar. Both Salapuddin and Hataman denied any participation in the killing of bombing. (Mindanao Examiner)

Nov 23 2007

2 Bombing Suspects Arrested In Southern Philippines

COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Nov. 23, 2007) – Police arrested two men implicated in a bombing in the southern Filipino province of North Cotabato.

Police said the two men, aged 19 and 20, were tagged by witnesses in Thursday bombing of the KMCC Mall in Kidapawan City.

Troops on Friday also tightened security in the province because of the attack blamed on the shadowy group called Al-Khobar. The group was previously linked to extortion activities and bombings in the region, said Army Lt. Col. Julieto Ando, a spokesman of the 6th Infantry Division.

“The bombing was believed carried out by the Al-Khobar. Intelligence reports suggest the attack was connected to a failed extortion,” he told the Mindanao Examiner.

At least seven people were wounded in the attack after a bomb, left at the mall’s baggage counter, exploded.

No individual or group claimed responsibility for the attack, but police and military authorities blamed past bombings in the province to the Indonesian terror group Jemaah Islamiya and their local affiliate, the Abu Sayyaf.

Ando said the military has been working closely with the local police force to hunt down members of the Al-Khobar group. “We are also in constant dialogue with the business sector and we assure our traders that we are doing our best to neutralize lawless elements,” he said.

Two powerful bombs also exploded in October at the busy business district of Kidapawan City that killed three people and wounded 32 others.

Soldiers in October also disarmed a homemade bomb planted at a market in North Cotabato’s Pikit town in October, but two other explosions inside two commuter buses in Marbel town injured several people.

The region is also where Filipino troops are pursuing Zulkifli bin Hir and two other Jemaah Islamiya bomb-makers, Dulmatin and Umar Patek, both tagged by Jakarta as behind the 2002 Bali bombings.

Manila said about three dozen other Jemaah Islamiya accomplices are believed hiding in Mindanao. The United States and Australia are helping the Philippines on its so-called war on terror by providing aid and training to local troops. (Mindanao Examiner)

Nov 22 2007

1 Killed in Southern Philippines Bombing

COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Nov. 22, 2007) – One person was killed in a powerful explosion Thursday that ripped through a shopping mall in the troubled southern Philippine region of Mindanao, officials said.

Officials said the blast also injured a still undetermined number of shoppers in Kidapawan City in North Cotabato province. The explosion was believed from a bomb that was left at the baggage counter of KNCC Mall.

«We are awaiting reports from the field,» Lt. Col. Julieto Ando, a spokesman for the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, told the Mindanao Examiner.

Other reports said as many as six people were wounded in the blast that shattered glass panes and windows at the mall.

No individual or group claimed responsibility for the attack, but previous bombings in the area had been blamed by Filipino authorities to the Indonesian terror group Jemaah Islamiya and their local counterpart, the Abu Sayyaf.

Two powerful bombs also exploded in October at the busy business district of Kidapawan City that killed three people and wounded 32 others.

Soldiers in October also disarmed a homemade bomb planted at a market in Pikit town in North Cotabato in October.

Prior to that, two homemade bombs exploded inside two commuter buses in Marbel town and in Cotabato City.

The region is also where Filipino troops are pursuing Zulkifli bin Hir and two other Jemaah Islamiya bomb-makers, Dulmatin and Umar Patek, both tagged by Jakarta as behind the 2002 Bali bombings.

Manila said about three dozen other Jemaah Islamiya accomplices are believed hiding in Mindanao. The United States and Australia are helping the Philippines on its so-called war on terror by providing aid and training to local troops. (Mindanao Examiner)

Nov 13 2007

Muslim Lawmaker, Driver Killed In Philippine Bombing

MANILA, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Nov. 12, 20070 – A Muslim lawmaker who was among those injured in a bombing at the Philippine House of Representative late Tuesday died from his wounds.

Rep. Wahab Akbar, of Basilan province, died at the Far Eastern University hospital in Manila, television reports, quoting the politician’s family friend, Sandra Cam, said.

“Sandra Cam told reporters that Rep. Wahab Akbar is dead,” ANC News Channel reported.

Akbar, a former governor of Basilan province, was the second victim killed in the blast. Marcial Talvo, a driver of Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan, also died in the bombing.

Ilagan and another lawmaker, Rep. Henry Teves were also wounded in the powerful explosion that occurred at around 8 p.m.

“We condemned in the strongest possible term this criminal and dastardly act,” said House Speaker Jose de Venecia.

At least 8 people were wounded in the bombing that destroyed the south-wing ceiling of the building. It was unclear how the explosion occurred, but witnesses said they smelled gunpowder in the area.

Reports were conflicting and others said the explosion emanated from a car parked at the House of Representatives while some claimed the blast was from a bomb planted inside the building.

Police and military officials said it was early to say if the blast was a bomb attack or whether it had something to do with reports that rightwing soldiers, disgruntled with President Gloria Arroyo’s rule and corruption in government, could be behind the explosion.

Arroyo’s government has been rocked by corruption allegations and the President is hounded with accusations that she cheated in the elections to keep herself and allies in power against the popular Fernando Poe Jr., a movie actor, who died while campaigning.

Poe’s supporters and opposition politicians and civil groups accused Arroyo of electoral fraud after an alleged military wiretapped conversation between her and an election commissioner that linked them to cheating surfaced. (Mindanao Examiner)

Nov 13 2007

Powerful Blast Hits Philippine Congress; 8 Injured

MANILA, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Nov. 12, 20070 – At least 8 people were wounded in suspected bombing late Tuesday at the House of Representatives in the Philippine capital.

Several lawmakers were among the injured in the powerful blast that destroyed the south-wing ceiling of the building. It was unclear how the explosion occurred, but witnesses said they smelled gunpowder in the area.

The blast occurred at around 8 p.m. Reports were conflicting, others said the explosion emanated from a car parked at the House of Representatives while some claimed the blast was from a bomb planted inside the building.

Police and military officials said it was early to say if the blast was a bomb attack or whether it had something to do with reports that rightwing soldiers, disgruntled with President Gloria Arroyo’s rule and corruption in government, could be behind the explosion.

No group or individual claimed responsibility for the blast.

Arroyo’s government has been rocked by corruption allegations and the President is hounded with accusations that she cheated in the elections to keep herself and allies in power against the popular Fernando Poe Jr., a movie actor, who died while campaigning.

Poe’s supporters and opposition politicians and civil groups accused Arroyo of electoral fraud after an alleged military wiretapped conversation between her and an election commissioner that linked them to cheating surfaced. (Mindanao Examiner)

Oct 19 2007

3 Foreigners Wounded In Philippine Blast

MAKATI CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 19, 2007) – At least 3 foreigners were among more than 100 people injured in a powerful blast Friday that ripped through a shopping mall in Makati City, the Philippines’ financial district, police said.

Police said the two Koreans and a Chinese national were wounded in the suspected bombing of the Glorieta Mall at around 1.30 p.m.Geary Barias, metropolitan police chief, said 8 people were killed and 129 others injured in the blast.

Political activists were blaming the Arroyo government for the blast, saying, state agents could be behind the explosion to divert public attention away from the President.

President Gloria arroyo was accused of bribing lawmakers and provincial governors during a breakfast meeting this week at the Presidential Palace in Manila.

The militant women’s group called “Gabriela” has condemned the bombing and at the same time expressed fear that Arroyo could use the incident to declare a state of emergency and crackdown on the opposition.

“We at GABRIELA Women’s Party express our condemnation for the Glorieta bombing as we likewise send our heartfelt sympathy and condolences for the victims and their families.”

”We also express our alarm and suspicion over the impeccable timing of the incident in the light of snowballing calls for Mrs. Arroyo to resign. We call on the public for utmost vigilance, as there may be no stopping the Arroyo regime from using this unfortunate incident to declare a state of emergency and crackdown on the opposition,” it said in a statement sent to the Mindanao Examiner.

The group also called for a speedy and impartial investigation of the incident to help ensure that justice is immediately served.But Arroyo, in a televised address, also warned those who would try to destabilize the government.

“I warn those who seek to destabilize our government not to exploit this incident for their selfish political motives. This is the time for all of us to unite. We urge all sectors to remain vigilant as the government steps up security measures to protect our people,” she said.

Arroyo said there is an ongoing investigation into the blast and appealed to citizens to stay vigilant.

“We assure everyone that a full blown investigation is now underway. The Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines are on highest alert and are fielding an additional 2,000 personnel to secure our public places and to prevent a possible similar occurrence,” she said. (Mindanao Examiner)

Oct 19 2007

Philippine Bombing Kills 6

MAKATI CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 19, 2007) – A suspected bomb explosion on Friday ripped through a crowded shopping mall in the Philippine business district of Makati, killing at least six people and wounded dozens more, police said.

Police said there was a report that a bomb had been planted at the Glorieta Mall in Makati City.

Initial reports said a gas leak from a fast-food restaurant may have triggered the explosion, but the huge damage to the mall was likely from a bomb.

Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay said the blast left an eight-meter wide hole at the ground floor of the Glorieta Mall. “There is an eight-meter wide hole at the ground floor and the blast also damaged the second floor of the mall. There could be more casualties,” the mayor said.

Police have identified for of the dead as Janine Marcos, Liza Enriquez, Jose Allen Jesus and Lester Peregrino.

The blast damaged the second and third levels of the mall and cars were pinned by collapsed walls. Glass windows were shattered and debris scattered on roads and the whole place was sealed off by the police.

Ariel Virtucio, a witness, said he saw smoke billowing from the car park. “We saw some smoke. We saw people running outside the building,” he said.

Conflicting reports said as many as 80 people were seriously injured from the explosion and that there could be more casualties as rescuers dug through debris searching for bodies and survivors.

Police said it is still investigating the cause of the explosion. “Initial reports said the explosion was caused by a gas leak from one of the restaurant in the mall. We don’t know if the explosion was caused by LPG alone,” said Police Chief Supt. Geary Barias.

But Alfie Reyes, corporate spokesperson of the Ayala Land, which operates the Glorieta Mall, said it was unlikely the blast was caused by a gas leak. “It’s unlikely that it could have emanated from the restaurant,” he said.

Insp. McVernon Manera, chief of the intelligence and investigation section of the Makati City police, said the explosion have been from a bomb.

“We smelled gun powder when we went inside the mall shortly after the blast. We have deployed bomb experts to search for possible explosives inside the mall,” he said.

The explosion coincided with military intelligence reports that terrorists may launch attacks at any opportunity in the country. Previous bombings in the Filipino capital were blamed to the Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiya.

At least 53 people were also killed in a spate of bombings in Manila and southern Philippines in February 14, 2005.

In February 27, 2004, Abu Sayyaf militants bombed the 10,192-ton SuperFerry 14 off Manila Bay, killing 116 people. A series of Jemaah Islamiya bombings in December 30, 2000 in Manila also killed 21 people. (Mindanao Examiner)

Sep 18 2007

Commuter Bus Bombed In South RP

COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / 18 Sept) – A homemade bomb exploded Tuesday inside a commuter, the second in three days in the restive region of the southern Philippines, officials said.

Officials said the blast occurred at around noontime in South Cotabato’s Marbel town, but there were no reports of injuries or casualties, said Maj. Gen. Ernesto Boac, commander of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division.

“A cell phone was used to detonate the bomb left inside the bus. There were no reports of casualties,” he told the Mindanao Examiner.

The bomb was detonated shortly after passengers disembarked at a bus depot.

No individual of group claimed responsibility for the blast and police and military authorities are still investigating the motives of the attack.

Moro rebels and communist insurgents, blamed for previous attacks, are actively operating in the province.

On Saturday, a bomb planted underneath a Coca-Cola delivery truck also exploded in nearby Cotabato City and wounding one person. No group owned up to the attack.

Last week, Australia banned its citizens from traveling to southern Philippines, particularly in Zamboanga peninsula in Mindanao island, because of a possible terror attacks.

“We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in the Philippines because of the high threat of terrorist attack. We continue to receive credible reports that terrorists are planning attacks against a range of targets, including places frequented by foreigners,” the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade warned.

Security forces were tracking down Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiya militants, including Dulmatin and Umar Patek, both tagged by Jakarta as behind the Bali bombings; and Zulkifli bin Hir, who are hiding in the southern Philippines. (Juan Magtanggol)

Sep 15 2007

1 Hurt In Southern Philippine Bombing

COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / 15 Sept) – A bomb exploded Saturday in the southern Philippines barely two days after Australia warned its citizens of a possible terrorist attacks in the troubled region, police said.

Police said one person was wounded in the blast in Cotabato City. The bomb, planted under a Coca-Cola delivery truck parked in downtown Cotabato, exploded at around 12.30 p.m., said police desk officer Jose Dimaano.

“One person, Omar Salik, was injured in the blast. He was just passing near the truck when the bomb exploded,” he told the Mindanao Examiner.

The police officer said the explosive was left at the truck’s water container probably mistaken as petrol tank by the bomber. The truck’s left side was damaged by the blast, police said.

“We are just lucky that it was the water container and not the petrol tank where the bomb was planted or else the blast and shrapnel and broken bottles could hurt or even kill more people,” he said.

Police forces in Cotabato City have doubled security.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Australian government warned Thursday that terrorists may strike on civilian targets and power installations in Mindanao island.

Australia warned its citizens not to travel to Mindanao because of credible threats of terrorism. It said terrorists may also strike in the Philippine capital.

“We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in the Philippines because of the high threat of terrorist attack. We continue to receive credible reports that terrorists are planning attacks against a range of targets, including places frequented by foreigners,” it said on a travel warning posted on the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Security forces remain in heightened alert because of the political situation and insurgency problems in the Philippines.

“We have not received any reports that terrorists are planning to attack power installations or populated centers, but troops are always in alert. Mindanao is generally peaceful,” Army Maj. Eugene Batara, a spokesman for the Western Mindanao Command, said.

In central Mindanao, the Army’s 6th Infantry Division said it has no intelligence reports about a possible terror attacks on civilian targets and power infrastructure in the south.

“It is peaceful now in many parts of Mindanao. People are confident about the peace and order and our forces are troops are always prepared and ready to fight terrorism, with or without the Australian travel warning,” Lt. Col. Julieto Ando, a regional army spokesman, said in a separate interview.

Last week, authorities arrested three Filipinos in Zamboanga City and another in General Santos City, all in southern Philippines, for their links to terrorism.

Three of those arrested — Marjuni Amala, Aristalon Isniril and Ronely Ahman — were suspected as Abu Sayyaf members and behind a bomb attack in Zamboanga City on Aug. 21 that injured 16 people.

Authorities also arrested suspected Jemaah Islamiya member Maipasagi Gani in General Santos City who was planning to bomb the KCC Mall on Tuesday to coincide with the commemoration of the September 11, 2001 al-Qaeda attacks in the United States. Police seized two homemade bombs from Gani.

The Philippine military is also holding an Indonesian terror suspect who was arrested in the province of Palawan, southwest of Manila.

The man was one of six suspected Abu Sayyaf militants arrested since last week in a crackdown on suspected terrorists in the Philippines.

Authorities were investigating the man whom military interrogators believed is a member of the Indonesian terror group Jemaah Islamiya, blamed for the 2002 Bali bombings which killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.

The foreigner, believed to be connected with Jemaah Islamiya bomber, Dulmatin, is being held by military authorities in Zamboanga City in southern Philippines.

Filipino security forces were tracking down Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiya militants, including Dulmatin and Umar Patek, both tagged by Jakarta as behind the Bali bombings; and Zulkifli bin Hir, who are hiding in the southern Philippines. (Mark Navales and Juan Magtanggol)

Aug 22 2007

New Bombing Foiled In Southern RP

PAGADIAN CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / 22 Aug) – Philippine police found an improvised explosive device inside a commuter bus during an inspection Tuesday in the southern city Pagadian, about 210 kilometers from Zamboanga City where a bomb attack injured at least 14 people.

The IED was recovered before it was to explode midnight Tuesday inside the bus which came from Zamboanga City, a police report said.

The report said the device was attached to a timer hidden in a luggage. No passengers claimed ownership of the luggage and police have made no arrest.

The bus was on its way to Cagayan de Oro City in northern Mindanao.

Maj. Gen. Nehemias Pajarito, commander of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, said he sent a team of explosive experts to disarm the bomb.

«We are investigating who were behind this attempt to blow up the bus and the military is closely working with police authorities to prevent terrorism and protect the public,» he told the Mindanao Examiner.

A powerful bomb explosion late Tuesday in downtown Zamboanga City has been blamed by intelligence officials to the Abu Sayyaf, implicated in the spate of terrorism and kidnappings of foreigners in the southern Philippines.

Police and military have tightened security in the restive region following Tuesday’s blast. Security forces were battling Abu Sayyaf militants and insurgents in Basilan and Jolo islands off Zamboanga City. (Mindanao Examiner)

Aug 22 2007

Tight Security For Arroyo’s Visit In Southern Philippines



An old Muslim woman relaxes Wednesday Aug. 22, 2007 at a public park named after U.S. military commander Gen. John «Black Jack» Pershing in Zamboanga City in southern Philippines bombed late Tuesday. At least 14 people were wounded in the blast blamed by authorities to the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group. The attack came ahead of a scheduled visit of President Gloria Arroyo, who will preside over a military conference Thursday to discuss ongoing government offensive against the Abu Sayyaf in Jolo and Basilan islands, where dozens of soldiers had died in fighting since last month. The park was named after the American general who defeated Muslim insurrection in southern Philippines almost a century ago. (Mindanao Examiner Photo Service)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / 22 Aug) – Security forces have been tightened Wednesday in the southern Filipino port city of Zamboanga following a bomb attack that injured at least 14 people.

The blast late Tuesday at a public park in downtown Zamboanga shattered glass windows of department stores around Plaza Pershing. Five U.S. soldiers were also spotted talking to Filipino bomb experts investigating the blast.

Blast investigators said they found fragments of magnet and a clock used as timing device to trigger the explosion and traces of chemicals suspected to be ammonium nitrate.

Police said it would release a sketch of one of three suspects in the bombing after witnesses provided vital information about the blast.

“We have at least three suspects. We already have a cartographic sketch of one suspect,” said Senior Superintendent Manuel Barcena, chief of the local police force.

Barcena said an IED or improvised explosive device was used in the attack. “It was an IED alright. We are still investigating who were behind the blast,” he said.

Military intelligence officials blamed the Abu Sayyaf for the attack.

The attack occurred ahead of President Gloria Arroyo’s visit in Zamboanga City and Basilan island on Thursday where she would preside over a military conference and discuss ongoing government offensive against the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group.

With Arroyo’s arrival, security has been tightened to ensure that the President would be safe while in Zamboanga and Basilan or that her presence will not be disturbed by any more bombings.

But the presence of many soldiers and policemen turned Zamboanga City into a virtual garrison. Troops were spotted patrolling downtown area and undercover agents scattered around here.

It was unknown whether the latest attack was connected to Arroyo’s visit or had anything to do with the military operations against the Abu Sayyaf and insurgents in the neighboring islands of Basilan and Jolo in the Sulu Archipelago, which is part of the five-province Muslim autonomous region, one of the most poorest area in the Philippines torn by strife and poverty.

No individual or group claimed responsibility for the attack, but security forces were battling Abu Sayyaf militants in the two islands where 57 soldiers had died already in the fighting since last month.

The region’s governor Zaldy Ampatuan was never heard of and did not give any statements about the fighting in Basilan and Jolo that have displaced over 20,000 people, mostly Muslims.

In Jolo, Governor Abdusakur Tan has been closely working with different government agencies to address the growing concerns of refugees on the island. He also ordered security forces to arrest all civilians carrying illegal weapons.

Basilan governor Jum Akbar also is spearheading relief operations to feed some 12,500 refugees.

Philippine military chief Gen. Hermogenes Esperon on Monday warned of possible attacks on civilian targets that may be waged by Abu Sayyaf militants or their sympathizers.

Zamboanga City had been targeted in the past by Abu Sayyaf bombers.

The Abu Sayyaf is on the U.S. terror lists and Washington sent hundreds of troops in Zamboanga City and Jolo island to help the local military defeat the group, blamed for the spate of bombings and kidnappings of foreigners in the region. (Mindanao Examiner)

Aug 21 2007

14 Wounded In Southern Philippine Bombing





Scenes from Tuesday’s bombing in Zamboanga City in southern Philippines, where security forces are fighting Abu Sayyaf militants tied to al-Qaeda terror network in Basilan and Jolo islands. (Mindanao Examiner Photo Service)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / 21 Aug) – At least 14 people were wounded when a bomb exploded late Tuesday in the southern Philippine port city of Zamboanga, authorities said.

The blast, which occurred at around 7.45 p.m., shook small buildings and shattered glass windows of department stores around a public park called Plaza Pershing where the bomb was planted under a concrete bench.

“It was an IED alright. We are still investigating who were behind the blast,” Senior Superintendent Manuel Barcena, chief of the local police force, told reporters.

The wounded, among them children, were rushed to hospital because of shrapnel wounds. Five U.S. soldiers were also spotted talking to Filipino bomb experts near the park.

Soldiers and policemen were searching for bombs after intelligence reports suggested there could be more, but they found nothing.

Police and military bomb experts were seen sifting through the debris to find clues as to what type of explosive was used in the attack. One investigator said he found what appeared to be pieces of magnet, believed part of the improvised explosive device.

Security was tight in downtown Zamboanga and soldiers put up road blocks and inspected civilian vehicles for weapons and explosives. There were no reports of arrests.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but security forces were battling Abu Sayyaf militants, whose group is tied to al-Qaeda terror network, on the neighboring island of Basilan, where 16 troops had died already in the fighting since last week.

Philippine military chief Gen. Hermogenes Esperon on Monday warned of possible attacks on civilian targets that may be waged by Abu Sayyaf militants or their sympathizers.

”We have to maintain our presence in areas where there could be sympathetic violence like Lanao and Cotabato,” Esperon said.

Zamboanga City had been targeted in the past by Abu Sayyaf bombers, especially if there were fighting in Basilan or Jolo islands, where the militants are actively operating.

The Abu Sayyaf is on the U.S. terror lists and Washington sent hundreds of troops in Zamboanga City and Jolo island to help the local military defeat the group, blamed for the spate of bombings and kidnappings of foreigners in the region. (Mindanao Examiner)

Jun 16 2007

US Forces Help Philippine Authorities Investigate Bombings In Troubled South





A U.S. soldier inspects a commuter bus bombed Friday, 15 June 2007, in the southern Philippine city of Cotabato. Another bus bombing in the town of Bansalan in Davao del Sur province has killed at least 9 people and wounded seven more. Western embassies banned their citizens from traveling to the southern Philippines because of extreme threats of terrorism and kidnappings of foreigners.

(Mindanao Examiner Photo Service/Mark Navales)

COTABATO CITY (Mindanao Examiner / 16 Jun) – U.S. explosives experts are helping Filipino authorities investigate the spate of bombings that hit the southern region of Mindanao.

At least 9 people were killed and seven others injured in a bomb attack on a commuter bus in Bansalan town in Davao del Sur province on Friday night. Another bus was also bombed in Cotabato City in Maguindanao province, but authorities reported no casualties.

An unidentified U.S. soldier was spotted inside the bombed bus in Cotabato City sifting through debris with local army and police bomb experts.

The American soldier did not speak to reporters, but a regional Filipino military spokesman said the U.S. forces were only helping local authorities investigate what type of bomb was used in the attack.

“They are only us assisting local military and police bomb experts in the investigations,” Lt. Col. Julieto Ando told the regional newspaper, the Mindanao Examiner.

On Tuesday, police foiled a possible car bombing after a car, laden with explosives, was discovered abandoned near the municipal hall of Surallah in South Cotabato province.

U.S. forces are currently deployed in the southern Philippines as part of the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines, which is helping the Filipino military defeat terrorism.

American troops are also involved in many humanitarian missions in an effort to win the hearts and minds of the Muslims in the troubled region, where local security forces are battling members of the al-Qaeda-linked the militant Abu Sayyaf group and Jemaah Islamiya.

The United States last week delivered ten UH-1H helicopters to Manila as part of a commitment to assist the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ modernization program.

The refurbished helicopters, part of 20 aircrafts promised by President George Bush, will be used by the Philippine Air Force to supplement its modernization program and increase its capabilities to combat terrorism and provide humanitarian assistance during natural disasters.

The U.S. military provides training, advice, and security assistance, and shares intelligence information with the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Just last week, both countries finished a weeklong joint amphibious training off the southern Sulu Archipelago.

The United States, Canada and Britain have issued travel warnings and strongly advised their citizens not to travel to the southern part of the Philippines because of threats of terrorism and kidnappings of foreigners. (Mark Navales)

Jun 08 2007

11 Wounded In South RP Bombing

COTABATO CITY (Mindanao Examiner / 08 Jun) – At least six more people were rushed to hospital Friday bringing to eleven the number of injured in the bombing of commuter bus in the southern Philippines.The explosion occurred in the town of Matalam in North Cotabato province. Authorities said the blast occurred at around 12.35 p.m.The bus, owned by People’s Transit Corporation, was bound for Davao City, when the bomb exploded.Ten of those wounded have been identified as Roy Firma, 28; Therese Balcita, 37; Gilbert Tejero, 21; Raul Saholga, 30; Jessilyn Bernalte; Alver dela Peña, 28; Catherine Aitillado, 27; Jeffery Alcade, 21; Milbert Helbolingo; and Ricardo Dordas.

The bombing occurred just a week after the United States warned its citizens of possible terror attacks in the restive region, where security forces are battling the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiya militants. (With a report from Juley Reyes)

Apr 21 2007

Bomb Explodes In Southern Philippines

COTABATO CITY (Mindanao Examiner / 22 Apr) – A bomb explosion injured one person Sunday in the restive region of the southern Philippines, where security forces are battling militants whose groups are tied to al-Qaeda terror network.

The bombing came days after the United States and Australia warned of terror attacks in the southern Philippines.

Police and military said the bomb, assembled from a mortar rocket rigged to a timer, exploded in the town of Midsayap in the troubled North Cotabato province. One woman was injured in the blast.

Two people were held by the police over the latest attack.

Both the United States and Australia have told their citizens not to travel to the southern Philippines because of heightened terror activities.

On Thursday, Abu Sayyaf militants beheaded six construction workers and a fisherman they kidnapped in Parang town in Jolo island.

The beheading came just four days after Jolo governor Benjamin Loong rejected the Abu Sayyaf demand of five million pesos ransom in exchange for the lives of the hostages, six of them were workers of the politician in his construction firm.

Families of the victims have blamed Loong for the death, saying, he should have opened negotiations with the kidnappers for the safe release of the hostages.

Loong insisted the government has a strict no-ransom policy and said he would pay for the funeral of all seven men.

Last month, Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels clashed with security forces in Midsayap town and forced tens of thousands of people fleeing their homes. The MILF, which is currently negotiating peace with Manila, accused the military of breaking a fragile six-year old cease-fire agreement.

MILF leaders said troops attacked rebel forces in the guise of pursuing the Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiya near their strongholds. (Mark Navales)

Mar 14 2007

Bombers Strike, Topple 3rd Power Line In South RP

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Unidentified gunmen bombed a power pylon, the third attacks in two days, in the southern Philippines where rebels are actively operating, officials said Wednesday.

Officials said the latest attack on government transmission towers occurred before midnight on Tuesday in the hinterland village of Sogod in Marawi City.

The National Transmission Corporation said the explosion toppled the pylon.

Engineer Emmanuel Abellanosa, assistant vice president for Mindanao operations and maintenance, the attack interrupted supply of electricity only in two firms, the Paper Industries Corporation of the Philippines (PICOP) in Balo-I town in Lanao del Norte and the Mindanao Silicon in Manticao town in Misamis Oriental provinces.

He said they received no threats from any rebel groups, but admitted more security forces were needed in the area to protect the steel pylons from being attacked again.

«We need more fresh troops to patrol our lines,» Abellanosa said.

Regional police chief Teodorico Capuyan said the bombers may have been motivated by revenge following the pullout of the Philippine Marines from the area.

Troops previously guarding the area have been redeployed to other provinces.

Authorities had in the past blamed such attacks on rouge members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the country’s largest Muslim rebel group fighting for self-rule in Mindanao.

The MILF is currently negotiating peace with Manila.

Two similar pylons were also bombed and toppled over the weekend near Iligan City and in Lanao province. No groups claimed responsibility for all three bombings. (Mike Banos)

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