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PIA Press Release

Central Mindanao bombing run handiwork of JI with MILF support, says Cotabato gov

Koronadal, South Cotabato (12 October) -- The series of bombings in Central Mindanao which killed seven and wounded 33 civilians Oct. 10 and 11 was the handiwork of the Indonesian terrorist group Jema'ah Islamiya and implemented by elements of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, according to North Cotabato Governor Manny F. Piņol.

The bombing run started yesterday morning with an explosion that rocked Tacurong City in Sultan Kudarat resulting in one death and three injuries.

Another bomb exploded at around 8 pm Tuesday night in front of the Makilala municipal gymnasium killing 6 and wounding 30 civilians. A third explosion rocked Cotabato City this morning.

A second bomb which did not explode, composed of two 81mm mortars rigged with a celphone was recovered by explosives and ordnance operatives Wednesday morning, in front of the Municipal Hall of Makilala.

The celphone which was designed to activate the bomb proved to be the source of information as it contained missed calls and messages from numbers identified to be used by MILF 105th base sub-commander Basit Usman.

"The celphone that was recovered in the unexploded bomb proved to be a rich trove of information that clearly identified the people who implemented the series of bombings in Central Mindanao yesterday and early today," Gov. Piņol said.

Gov. Piņol said orders for the bombings came from Indonesian terrorist Dulmatin in retaliation for the arrest of his wife, Istiada, in Jolo Oct. 3. The operation was implemented by elements of the MILF led by Usman following the transfer of funds to finance the operation from Zamboanga City last week.

"The MILF now cannot wash their hands and simply say they know nothing of the bombing that killed and injured my people," Gov. Piņol said.

He said he will formally file a protest against the MILF for violation of the ceasefire agreement.

"Let the MILF come clean and they can only do that if they turn over to the authorities the people behind the series of bombings, especially Basit Usman."

The Cotabato Police are now preparing criminal charges against Usman for his involvement in the Makilala bombing. (IDCD-PGO/ PIA 12) [top]

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