Tuesday Jun, 15 2021 06:07:18 AM

Al-Khobar tagged in deadly North Cotabato bus burning

Mindanao Armed Conflict • 13:00 PM Mon Jun 7, 2021
John M. Unson
Authorities are convinced the Al-Khobar terror group was behind this incident. (Photofrom FB page of John Lester Dimasujid)

NORTH COTABATO - The police and military are certain the Al-Khobar terror group was responsible for last week’s burning of a bus in Mlang town that caused the death of three passengers and hurt six others.

Police Col. Henry Villar, North Cotabato provincial police director, said Monday they are now validating persistent reports from residents of Mlang and in nearby towns purporting that the Al-Khobar was responsible for the arson attack.

The group was tagged in the bombing of a unit of the Yellow Bus Line in Tulunan, North Cotabato last January that left a passenger dead and injured five others.

Three men barged into the bus, owned by the same company, after its driver pulled over along a highway in Barangay Bialong in Mlang to pick up their ticket inspector waiting by.

The suspects poured gasoline on the floor of the bus that they lit with disposable lighters before jumping out through its half-open hydraulic door.

Three passengers, Johnny Roy Tadeo Ramil, 28, Hazel Mallo Galardo, 30, and the 48-year-old Arnold Patron, were burned alive inside the bus.

The Al-Khobar, a sub-group in the Dawlah Islamiya, which uses the flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria as banner, has a reputation for bombing establishments and public transportations if owners refuse to shell out “protection money” on a monthly basis. 

Even officers of different units in Maguindanao of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division had told reporters there are strong indications that the Al-Khobar was behind the burning of a unit of the Yellow Bus Line in Mlang last week.

The municipality of Mlang is under the jurisdiction of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division.

Even so, 6th ID’s commander, Major Gen. Juvymax Uy, is helping the North Cotabato provincial police put closure to last week’s incident in Mlang via intelligence initiatives.


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