(No suicide attack ) AFP attributes Lamitan bombing to extortion Print
Thursday, 02 August 2018 14:49

By Remus Ong

The Western Mindanao Command (WesMinCom) has  attributed the powerful explosion in Lamitan City yesterday to extortion and denied the participation of a foreign terrorist group in the attack.

This amid reports saying that the car bomb which killed at least eleven (11) people near a military checkpoint was a suicide attack perpetrated by a foreign terrorist group.

General Carlito Galvez, Armed Forces Chief of Staff, said in a press conference here yesterday that reports that the perpetrator was a foreigner was inconclusive considering that foreign nationals were not familiar with the area.

“It is very unlikely that a foreigner would drive a vehicle alone,”  Galvez said.

He added that the road used by the suspect is also commonly used by local terrorists.

He said that the driver of the van might have been confused and detonated the explosive before reaching the target area.

He also said that the militiamen who have witnessed the occurrence might have been described the suspect as foeign looking as an “afterthought.”

“The purpose of the bombing is really extortion.  it’s because the ASG lacks support as plenty of them have already surrendered,” Galvez pointed out.

The Abu Sayyaf Group is reportedly asking a P50,000 amount from each of the Basilan mayors and may have perpetrated the attack after failing to receive the amount.

Meanwhile, Galvez also said that a possible target of the explosion was the parade held during the culmination of Nutrition Month in Lamitan City.

Around 4,000 students are expected to gather in Lamitan City in line with the activity.

“If not for the vigilance of our troops most probably the van might be there.”  Galvez said. (Remus Ong)