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Security forces nab alleged accomplice linked to Marawi bombing

John Unson, Ian Laqui - Philstar.com
Security forces nab alleged accomplice linked to Marawi bombing
Photo of Jafar Gamo Sultan, alias "Jaf" or "Kurot", the alleged accomplice in the bombing at Mindanao State University in Marawi City.
Released / Armed Forces of the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 3:48 p.m.) — The alleged accomplice in the bombing at Mindanao State University in Marawi City was arrested by government forces on Wednesday, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said.

Jafar Gamo Sultan, also known by his alias “Kurot” and “Jaf,” has been apprehended by the AFP-led Task Force Marawi and Marawi City Police in Barangay Dulay Proper. 

“The suspect, who was apprehended in an operation in Brgy Dulay Proper in Marawi, is a companion of a certain Omar, the person identified by witnesses to have placed the improvised explosive device at the Dimaporo Gymnasium,” the AFP said in a statement.

The jihadist group Islamic State claimed responsibility for the MSU bombing on December 3 at Dimaporo Gym during a Catholic mass, which resulted in four fatalities and 45 injuries.

Sultan is reportedly identified as the alleged accomplice in the incident. The AFP, however, did not specify the particular role or action attributed to him.

Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong, Jr., whose office is in Marawi City, said on Friday that he is thankful to officials of the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region and the Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade for cooperating in locating on Thursday the hideout of the now detained Sultan.

“We are grateful to the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines for exhausting all means to solve this act of terror that made us very sad,” Adiong said.

Senior officials of PRO-BAR and the Army's 103rd Infantry Brigade separately said on Friday that it was with the help of vigilant Maranaos that police and military agents had traced the exact location of Sultan in an interior area in Barangay Dulay in Marawi City.

The sources told reporters members of the Islamic religious communities in Lanao del Sur and its capital, Marawi City, were partly instrumental in identifying Sultan as one of the bombers who brought a powerful improvised explosive device inside the gymnasium that they detonated from a distance using a mobile phone.

Besides Adiong, mayors in Lanao del Sur, which has 39 towns, also told reporters that they were elated with the arrest of Sultan.

They assured to help the PNP and the AFP find the other bombers, two of them positively identified as Arseni Membisa and Wahab Macabayao. 

The Moro National Liberation Front, Imams and peace advocates in Mindanao condemned the said attack.

On Wednesday, Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said that the suspects were members of the Maute group under the command of Dawlah Islamiyah.

The two suspects were identified by the PNP as Kadapi Mimbesa also known as "Engineer" and Arsani Membisa alias "Lapitos.”

The authorities believe that the detonating device utilized was the cellular phone used by "Engineer".

In 2017, militants linked to the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups, pledging allegiance to the Islamic State, launched a siege on Marawi. The conflict involved local and foreign fighters, resulting in over a thousand casualties. — with reports from Agence France Presse, Mark Villeza and Jose Rodel Clapano.

vuukle comment

DAWLAH ISLAMIYAH

ISIS

ISLAMIC STATE

ISLAMIC STATE OF IRAQ AND SYRIA

MARAWI

MAUTE GROUP

MINDANAO

MINDANAO STATE UNIVERSITY

MSU

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