ONE of the alleged accomplices in the bombing that killed four people in Mindanao State University (MSU) Marawi campus on December 3, 2023 was arrested, said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Friday, December 8, 2023.
Jafar Gamo Sultan, alias Jaf or Kurot, was nabbed by combined troops of Task Force Marawi and Marawi City police on Wednesday, December 6, 2023, in an operation in Barangay Dulay Proper in Marawi City.
Sultan was reportedly the companion of a certain Omar, the person identified by witnesses to have placed the improvised explosive device at the Dimaporo Gymnasium of MSU Marawi.
The troops also seized two motorcycles from Sultan.
“This development shows the seriousness of the government in capturing the perpetrators of the terrorist attack on innocent civilians and in ensuring that similar incidents will not happen again. It also demonstrates the AFP's commitment to its mandate as protector of the people and the state,” said the AFP in a statement posted on its Facebook page.
The attack at MSU Marawi on December 3 was launched around 7:40 a.m. while a Catholic Mass was ongoing. The blast killed at least four people and wounded 43 others.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) earlier released the photos and names of two main suspects in the explosion, saying Kadapi Mimbesa alias Engineer and Arsani Membisa alias Khatab or Hatab and Lapitos are both members of the Daulah Islamiyah.
PNP chief of the Public Information Office Colonel Jean Fajardo said the two main suspects were positively identified by some of the survivors of the explosion, as well as through the backtracking investigation conducted by the police with the use of the closed circuit television (CCTV) footage from the vicinity outside the MSU.
Mimbesa was identified as the person who carried the bag that allegedly contained the explosives: a 60mm mortar improvised explosive device and a rocket propelled grenade.
The two suspects have a standing arrest warrant for murder, added the PNP. (LMY)