Wednesday Mar, 22 2023 04:55:55 AM

AFP eyes Dawlah Islamiya in Koronadal, Tacurong bombings

Breaking News • 19:15 PM Thu May 26, 2022
Edwin O. Fernandez
Photo shared to DXOM Koroandal/ 6th ID

Military authorities believed Dawlah Islamiyah terror group could be behind the bombings in Koronadal and Tacurong.

Brig. Gen. Eduardo Gubat, commander of the 6th Infantry Division, has ordered hightened alert status on all Army units under the Joint Task Force Central (JTFC) following twin bombings in Koronadal and Tacurong City.

Gubat, also commander of JTFC, believed that the bombings could be the handiwork of followers of Abu Torayfe, leader of Dawlah Islamiyah terrorist group in Maguindanao.

“It could be diversionary tactics of DI-Mindanao leader Abu Torayfe,” Brig. Gen. Gubat told reporters. He condemned the bombing and described it as acts of cowards.

"Acts like these that cause harm to innocent civilians are reprehensible, wrong, and evil. The bombing incident only shows that there are people who are ruthless that we need to be wary of. We will exert efforts so that we can identify who are the perpetrators of these incidents and pursue proper actions according to law," Brig. Gen Gubat said.

Torayfe’s group was the subject of military air and ground assaults in Datu Salibo, Maguindanao on Monday following brief encounter between soldiers and gunmen in Barangay Ganta.

That operation left Abu Torayfe and 16 of his men injured.

Gubat said two of his followers - Sadam Salandang and Abdul Patir – were killed.  Ground troops receivered high powered firearms and ammuinition.

Brig. Gen. Gubat said the report about Torayfe was injured was Army intelligence units and corroborated by village officials.

The blast inside the YBL with body number 2108 in Koronadal City was followed by loud explosion near the Tacurong City bus terminal in Barangay Calean at past 1:30 p.m.

Police Lt. Colonel Joan Maganto, Tacurong City police chief, said the explosion occurred along the uninhabited road network serving as exit route for bus and passenger vehicles from Tacurong terminal to Koronadal City.

“Nobody was hurt, the suspected IED was left beside the diversion road,” Maganto said, adding that this could be intended for bus units but the bomb courier left it in unpopulated area due to heavy police and Army presence at the terminal.

Maganto said police are still determining whether the Tacurong blast was connected to Koronadal bus bombing.

“I appeal to bus drivers to maintain terminal to terminal only in taking passengers, they should refrain from accepting commuters along the highway,” Maganto said.  In the bus terminal, all baggages are thoroughly checked unlike for passengers boarding in between terminals.

Bernardo Bolanio, manager of YBL based in Koronadal, has condemned the bombing on the firm’s units.

“We have no extortion from any lawless groups, we have no threats, we are providing efficient transport services and yet we get this,” Bolanio said.

A woman passenger and a tricycle driver were injured in the Koronadal blast.  The tricycle driver, Wilfredo Tino Sr. 56, of Barangay Magsaysay, Koronadal, was tailing the bus when the blast occurred.

The woman passenger said she noticed a suspicious man board in Mlang, North Cotabato and kept on transferring from one seat to another while the bus was in motion.

Peno was hit by shrapnel the head and already out of danger.

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