Another bomb attack topples power line in Lamitan City PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 21 September 2014 14:42

Suspected Abu Sayyaf militants on Friday night bombed a power line in Lamitan City disrupting electric supply to many areas for several hours.

Lamitan City police chief Sr. Insp. Gean Gallardo said yesterday a homemade bomb exploded around 9:25 p.m. Friday  at one of the electric posts of the Basilan Electric Cooperatrive, Inc. along the main Lamitan road going to the seaport in Sitio Lagasan, Brgy Kulay  Bato.

“There was no casualty reported as a result of the blast, except the power line of Baselco that was toppled down,” he said, adding that a military explosive ordinance division had recovered an improvised explosive device’s main ingredient and bomb residue from the blast site.

The blast caused panic among Lamitan residents as security forces were dispatched in strategic places to block the entry and exit roads to the city.

No group has claimed responsibility, but authorities suspect Abu Sayyaf militants of trying to make their presence felt.

Friday night’s bomb attack was the second incident in Basilan province this week, and the fifth in Mindanao.

On Tuesday, four suspected Abu Sayyaf members riding a motorcycle threw a fragmentation grenade at a warehouse in Lamitan City, but no one was wounded in the attack.

The series of explosions comes as authorities are keeping close watch on reports that Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) militants have recruited members of the Abu Sayyaf in Mindanao.

A video posted in late July that opens with al-Qaeda’s symbolic black flag shows senior Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon – who carries a $5 million U.S. bounty on his head and has been indicted in Washington for “terrorist acts” against foreign nationals - alongside masked men pledging allegiance to ISIL.

On July 25, Australian Muslim preacher Robert Cerantonio - aka Musa - was arrested in Lapu-lapu City in the central Philippines for rallying support for ISIL on social media.

Cerantonio is believed to have been hiding in the Philippines for half a year, recruiting Filipino militants and giving pro-ISIL lectures in Basilan and Sulu, another Abu Sayyaf stronghold.

Authorities did not indicate whether Cerantonio had recruited Hapilon.