1 dead, 37 injured in Guiwan car bomb blast PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 24 January 2015 11:48

A powerful bomb exploded at 3 p.m. Friday outside a nightclub about 50 meters from Lobregat Highway and 200 meters from the bus terminal in Guiwan, killing a motorized tricycle driver and injuring 37 others.

Witnesses told the police they saw a car parked outside Fantacy nightclub emitting smoke and thought it was burning.    Policemen called the fire department, but before they put the phone down, a loud blast rocked the vicinity, shattering window and door glasses of nearby shops within the vicinity of the Guiwan bus terminal.

“The car was still burning when I arrived at the scene... I saw several injured people in blood and writhing in pain,” said  Daily Zamboanga Times reporter Dan Toribio Jr.

He said he saw Reynaldo Tan, a tricycle driver, still alive, but later learned he died in the hospital.

“He (Tan) was still breathing when I arrived,” Toribio said.

He said he noticed most of the injured were passing the area when the bomb exploded.

The Fantacy club was wrecked by the bomb blast. Its roof caved in and fire ignited by the explosion burned most of the edifice.

Members of the police bomb squad who scanned the explosion scene recovered fragments of 81mm mortar shell, commonly used by local terrorists in assembling an improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The origin of  the car, a Kia Pride, was immediately checked and it was discovered as a carnapped vehicle, according to Land Transportation Office District Officer Noel Noche.

The Kia Pride belongs to  Hector Gumayagay of Paranaque, Noche said.

It was learned the car bomb was first seen parked in front of the bus terminal, but policemen called the attention of the driver who moved it to the front of Fantacy.

Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco said in a radio interview she will seek the immediate transfer of the 30 Abu Sayyaf militants detained at the Zamboanga City Jail to a high security prison in Manila as she believes the bomb attack was carried out in retaliation to the foiling of a jailbreak attempt on Monday.

“We will reiterate our appeal for the transfer of the high-profile (Abu Sayyaf) detainees to Manila, because they create security threat in Zamboanga City,”Climaco said.

Three handguns and 140 rounds of ammunition were seized at Zamboanga City prison after they were sent to two prisoners suspected of belonging to the al-Qaeda-linked group,

Chief Inspector Julius Arro said the plot aimed to free 30 Abu Sayyaf suspects being held in the prison

Arro said an unidentified woman appeared at the jail’s gate shortly after 10 a.m. (0200GMT) Monday and handed the guards two ovens, asking for them to be passed to Jamil Ajijul and Termiji Ahmad, suspected Abu Sayyaf lieutenants facing charges including kidnapping and murder.

After the woman, who Arro said had appeared nervous and in a rush, had gone, Arro ordered officers to keep tabs on the two alleged militants. The ovens were confiscated when the men were seen trying to break them open and the weapons found in hollow compartments.

Police sources said the escape plan would have been assisted by Abu Sayyaf gunmen outside the prison attacking police units across the city as the prisoners fled to Basilan or Sulu provinces, hotbeds of Abu Sayyaf militancy.

In December 2009, 31 mostly Abu Sayyaf prisoners escaped after more than 100 gunmen attacked a jail in Basilan capital Isabela, leaving two escapees and a guard dead. It was the fourth escape from the jail in five years.

The injured victims were brought to three hospitals — 18 at the Western Mindanao Medical Center, 12 at the Zamboanga City Medical Center and seven at theZamboanga Peninsula Hospital.

Injured were Reyner Tan, Jovi Manalo, Zigmon Diaz, Reymart Basa, Reynaldo tan(dead), Richard Miniosa, Samuel Francisco, Suaib Daigdigan, Dennis Valiente and Felix Mendoza, Anacleto Macapagal, Romeo Iturralde, Darwin Cabahug, Joseph Corahe, Roberto Andicoy, Rolando Contoro, Rannisboy Boalen, Rex Roxas, Dave Santiago, Noel Lopez, Joseph Abella, Randy delos Reyes, Daryl Apari, Ely Belarmino, Jocelyn Alejandro, Roger Apiac; three unidentified males; SPO1 Bahari (in critical condition), Wilson Falcasantos, and Salvador delos Santos.