Extortion gang, BIFF eyed in North Cotabato blast
John Unson (The Philippine Star) - January 3, 2015 - 12:00am

NORTH COTABATO, Philippines – Local officials suspect that either the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) or the Al-Khobar extortion ring could be behind Wednesday’s bombing of the public market in Mlang town.

Mlang Mayor Joselito Piñol said the bombing, which killed two persons and wounded 35 others, could be in retaliation for the arrest of a guerrilla bomb expert tagged in another bombing on Nov. 23.

Two residents were killed while more than 20 others were injured in the explosion, which local leaders said was perpetrated by the BIFF.

“The denial by the BIFF of responsibility for the two recent bombings in our municipality is unbelievable. All leads point to that group as responsible for these bombings,” Piñol said.

The Al-Khobar extortion gang, on the other hand, which is composed of rogue Moro rebels, is being blamed for the bombings of buses and business establishments in Central Mindanao from 2007 to 2011.

Abu Misry Mama, spokesman for the BIFF, denied they were behind Wednesday’s bombing.

“We only attack military targets, not public markets, public terminals and buses carrying passengers,” Mama said.

Senior Superintendent Danilo Peralta, North Cotabato police director, said investigators are certain the cohorts of a suspect arrested for the Nov. 23 bombing was behind the latest incident.

ABU MISRY MAMA AL-KHOBAR BANGSAMORO ISLAMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS BOMBING CENTRAL MINDANAO MLANG MLANG MAYOR JOSELITO PI NORTH COTABATO SENIOR SUPERINTENDENT DANILO PERALTA
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