COTABATO CITY, Philippines - Lawmen arrested a confessed member of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFM) after setting off Friday morning an improvised explosive device at the Tacurong City public market, the fifth explosion to rock the area since October.
No one was reported killed or injured in the bombing, but the incident triggered panic among local residents.
Supt. Gilbert Tuzon, chief of the Tacurong City police, said the bomb was detonated along a national highway, near the city proper.
Responding policemen nabbed a man named Abdul Usman, whom they noticed fleeing from the scene hastily, carrying an empty bag.
Witnesses have confirmed seeing Usman roaming suspiciously near the spot where the IED went off minutes before the powerful blast was heard.
Tuzon said Usman, who is also known as “Obing,” readily confessed to his being a member of the bandit BIFM, which is led by foreign-trained jihadist Ameril Umbra Kato.
The suspect also admitted belonging to a BIFM gang led by a certain Commander Gani, a henchman of Kato.
Tuzon said investigators are still trying to extract from Usman information on his accomplices in perpetrating the bombing.