MSU-Marawi blast suspect arrested

One of the suspects in the December 3 bombing at the Mindanao State University campus in Marawi City that left four persons dead and dozens others wounded was arrested Wednesday, the military announced Friday.

Col. Xerxes Trinidad, chief of the Armed Forces Public Affairs Office said Jafar Gamo Sultan alias Jaf or Kurot was arrested by a joint team of Army soldiers and policemen in Barangay Dulay Proper in Marawi.

The military alleged Sultan was a companion of a certain Omar, who was identified by witnesses as the one who planted the bomb fashioned out of a 60mm mortar shell under a plastic chair before the Advent mass started at the Dimaporo Gymnasium inside the MSU main campus.

“This development shows the seriousness of the government in capturing the perpetrators of the terrorist attack on innocent civilians and in ensuring that similar incidents will not happen again,” Trinidad said.

Lt. Gen. William Gonzalez, commander of the AFP Western Mindanao said they have launched a manhunt against four leaders of the local Dawlah Islamiyah-Maute Group believed to be responsible for last Sunday’s bombing.

One of the leaders was identified as Khadafi Mimbesa, a resident of Masiu town in Lanao del Sur who uses the aliases “Engineer, Kadi and Akoya.” He is allegedly a bomb-making expert and sub-leader of the Dawlah Islamiyah-Maute Group in Lanao del Sur.

“We believe that the four were in constant communications with each other in planning the attack,” Gonzalez said.

Meanwhile, Jennie Alonto Tamano, Lanao del Sur provincial spokesperson updated the list of injured victims from 46 to 72.

Tamano said 48 victims have been discharged while six were still confined at the Amai Pakpak Medical Center in Marawi. She said 17 are still being treated at the MSU Infirmary. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)

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