Explosion partly destroys bridge in Lamitan City

RJ Rosalado, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 31 2016 11:05 AM

MANILA - An improvised explosive device (IED) went off in one of the bridges in Lamitan City, Basilan past 10 p.m. Monday.

Operation Officer of Basilan Provincial Police Office, Chief Inspector Edwin Placio said a loud explosion was heard after unidentified persons planted the bomb on the Gubawan Bridge along the National Highway of Sengal.

No one was hurt but the explosion left a small hole on the bridge's pavement.

Placio said authorities believe the Abu Sayyaf Group was behind the incident, in a bid to create chaos in Lamitan City and pressure local officials to give in to their demands.

The Abu Sayyaf Group has been extorting money from local officials of Lamitan but failed to force them to give the monthly protection money.

Last Sunday, authorities also recovered an IED planted on a bridge along the road of Barangay Balagtasan, also in the city.

The Explosive Ordnance Division was able to destroy the bomb composed of an 81 millimeter mortar, cellphone, blasting cap, a circuit board, and a battery.

Before the May 9 elections, Lamitan police arrested three suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Group who were also responsible in the series of explosions in downtown Lamitan.

The three were known followers of Musana Jamiri, who has been tagged as the mastermind in the series of attacks in Lamitan City.