Lamitan bombing: 4,000 kids were original targets

admin   •   August 10, 2018   •   2659

The 4,000 children who were attending a feeding program were the original targets of the Lamitan blast that killed 10 people and wounded 8 on July 31, authorities said on Friday.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana revealed that the bomb-rigged van was supposed to explode at the plaza where the children were expected to gather.

However, the van failed to reach its target location when it broke down at Magwakit Detachment in Brgy. Colonia, Lamitan, Basilan.

Lorenzana said members of the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) even helped in pushing the van to jumpstart it when one of them noticed the wires and IED components inside the vehicle.

It was when the CAFGU called for backup from the scout rangers who were two Kilometers away from the Magwakit Detachment.

As the scout rangers were approaching, the driver, who authorities believe was Moroccan, panicked and detonated the bomb for fear of being arrested. — Lea Ylagan

4 killed in military chopper crash in Basilan

Robie de Guzman   •   September 16, 2020

Four people were killed after a rescue helicopter belonging to the Philippine Air Force crashed in Lantawan town in the province of Basilan on Wednesday.

Authorities said the bodies of the casualties have been recovered by the members of the 4th Special Forces Battalion dispatched to conduct a search and rescue operation at the crash site.

Initial investigation showed that the chopper, believed to be flying from Zamboanga City to an unknown destination, crashed in a rubber plantation in Barangay Upper Manggas in Lantawan around 1 p.m.

Authorities said the chopper went down during a bad weather but investigation into the cause of the incident is ongoing.

They are also verifying the identities of the fatalities and whether they were all Air Force personnel. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Val Villaflor)

2 Abu Sayyaf suspects in 2001 Basilan abduction case arrested

admin   •   February 8, 2019

(L-R) Harub Jaljalis aka Indal; Pinky Ani Hadjinulla

Eighteen years since the kidnapping and beheading incidents at Golden Harvest Plantation in Basilan in 2001, authorities finally arrested on Sunday (February 3) two elusive suspects in the crime.

Harub Jaljalis alias Indal, 45, and Pinky Ani Hadjinulla, 37, have been positively identified by survivors of the Golden Harvest Plantation incident as among the abductors. The two are alleged members of the Islamist terrorist organization, Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said Indal, who was arrested at a canteen in Zamboanga City, is a bomb maker for the Radullan Sahiron faction of the ASG. He received bomb-making training from Indonesian and Middle Eastern jihadists. He also served as an escort for a number of high-profile terrorists.

Indal has been known to work closely with Pinky Ani Hadjinulla who was arrested inside a shopping mall in Zamboanga City.

NBI Counter Terrorism Division chief, Atty. Raoul Manguerra said, “In a way we tried to neutralize this cell of Indal and Pinky Hadjinulla. Pinky Hadjinulla, we believe, conducts reconnaissance around Zamboanga to know possible targets either kidnapping or to commit other atrocities like throwing grenades.”

Authorities believe that the arrested suspects employ such tactics to create chaos in Zamboanga, Basilan Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, particularly after the series of bombings in these areas.

“They can conduct a series of bombings and kidnapping incidents to divert the focus and the attention of the law enforcement and the security forces in the area,” said NBI Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin.

Authorities are still looking into the suspects’ possible involvement in the recent Jolo and Sulu blasts. — Chato Alonsagay (with reports from Mai Bermudez)

Authorities allay public fears following Lamitan blast, security alert still high

Marje Pelayo   •   August 2, 2018

PNP Spokesperson Police Senior Superintendent Benigno Durana

 

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) is on heightened alert status in Metro Manila and the Autonomous Region on Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) after the two bombing incidents in Basilan and Masbate.

However, PNP Spokesperson Police Senior Superintendent Benigno Durana emphasized that the PNP is on top of the situation and citizens have nothing to worry about.

He also clarified that the PNP is only being proactive that is why they are on heightened alert, but not yet on full alert.

“This is not endemic. Some incidents are not related. (It’s) perpetrated by the same group of people so nothing to be alarmed. The security forces are on top of the situation but at the same time we want to be proactive that’s why even here in Metro Manila ay nagkaroon po tayo ng heightened alert,” said Durana.

Meanwhile, Senator Panfilo Lacson fears that suicide bombings might inspire local extremists in sowing terror in crowded places across the country.

“It is worrisome in that it could inspire or motivate other homegrown local extremists and set a trend of a series of suicide bombings in thickly populated urban centers in Mindanao, Visayas and even here in Metro Manila,” Lacson said.

Authorities nabbed Islamic teacher Indalin Jainul for illegal possession of explosive after he was found with a fragmentation grenade.

He was named suspect in the bombing incident at a CAFGU detachment in Lamitan City, Basilan on Tuesday (August 1).

The police are investigating if there are other persons responsible behind the bombings. – UNTV News & Rescue

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