Bomb explodes near Basilan mayor's house-A A +A
Thursday, January 21, 2010
ZAMBOANGA CITY -- Suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits detonated Tuesday near the house of a local mayor in Basilan province an improvised bomb, injuring a teenager and damaging three houses.
The bomb exploded around 8:40 p.m. Tuesday several meters from the residence of Lamitan City Mayor Roderick Furigay along Flores Street in Barangay Matatag, said Basilan Police Director Antonio Mendoza.
Wounded was Jun-Jun Jumdail, 17, who was rushed to the St. Peter Hospital for treatment.
Rosita Likin, a resident living near the area where the explosion took place, told the police that she was terrified when she suddenly heard a very loud explosion while watching television.
The houses that were damaged in the blast were made of light materials owned by Likin's neighbors, the police said.
No individual or group has claimed responsibility for the incident, but Explosive Ordnance Demolition (EOD) policemen who sifted the explosion site found bomb components similar to the explosives previously set-off by the Abu Sayyaf bandits in Basilan.
Mendoza said bomb explosion threats circulated in Lamitan City few days prior to Tuesday night's bombing.
It was not known if Mayor Furigay was the target. Authorities, however, are not discounting the possibility of extortion and politics as the motives behind the bombing.
As of Wednesday, security forces, including members of the 1st Marine Company and 1518th Police Provincial Mobile Group, have set up checkpoints around Lamitan City for the possible arrest of the perpetrators, who still remain unknown.
Basilan province is a known hotbed of the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group, which has been blamed for a series of kidnappings, bombings, and beheadings in the south.
The Abu Sayyaf has been on the US list of terrorist groups and remains a threat, especially in Mindanao where it is based, although it has been crippled by US-backed military offensives. (Bong Garcia/Sunnex)