Kato’s group denies hand in Mindanao blasts

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Monday, December 26, 2011


KIDAPAWAN CITY – The breakaway group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) allied with former MILF leader Ameril Umbra Kato denied involvement in the series of bombings in Central Mindanao.

The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFM) spokesperson Abu Misry Mama said it was so unlikely that their group was behind the latest bombings in Maguindanao, North Cotabato and Cotabato City.

“These are against the teachings of Islam. Islam is the basis of our faith and our struggle,” said Mama.

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The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) claimed that bomb fragments and an unexploded improvised bomb had the labels of the groups’ signatures in bomb making.

Authorities in Central Mindanao had recovered from blast sites paper cut-outs attached to some fragments of the improvised explosive device (IEDs) bearing the names "Bangsamoro Youth Movement" and "Bangsamoro Islamic Movement", which, according to reports from the intelligence community, have links with Kato's BIFM.

Around 6:30 a.m. Monday, an IED, also bearing the name of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), was recovered along the national highway in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao, just few meters away from the headquarters of the 6th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army.

BIFF, authorities said, is the armed wing of the BIFM.

Lieutenant Colonel Leopoldo Galon, spokesperson for the Eastern Mindanao Command, said operatives of the Explosives and Ordnance Disposal team detonated three IEDs they recovered from the area.

Meantime, Renato Mendoza, one of the blast victims in Kabacan, North Cotabato, was transferred Monday to Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City for further medical treatment.

Mendoza, staff from the Kabacan Polymedic Hospital in Kabacan town, has to undergo a surgical operation after the fuse of the bomb was buried on his back.

Mendoza was one of the five bystanders who were hit when a powerful IED blasted Friday night in Kabacan town.

The IEDs that went off last Friday was the seventh since November this year, reports said. (Malu Cadelina Manar/Sun.Star Davao)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on December 27, 2011.

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