Abu Sayyaf tagged in Zamboanga bombing

RJ Rosalado, ABS-CBN News Zamboanga

Posted at Sep 20 2015 06:16 PM | Updated as of Sep 21 2015 02:16 AM

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The Armed Forces of the Philippines tagged the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group as responsible for the deadly bomb explosion in a bus terminal in Zamboanga City last Friday.

Col. Arthur Biyo, commander of Joint Task Group Zamboanga, said the management fo D'Biel Transit has been receiving extortion letters from the Abu Sayyaf, demanding for monthly protection money.

The bus company, however, refused to give in to their demands.

Biyo added that the same group also extorts money from local businessmen in Basilan, threatening their lives and business establishments.

On Saturday, the Zamboanga City Police Office released the computer composite sketch of one of the suspects, who planted the bomb inside the bus.

The alleged bomber was also captured in a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera footage of one of the establishments in the area. His identity, however, is still unknown as of this time.

Biyo said there might be two more accomplices who acted as lookouts in the area.

Senior Supt. Angelito Casimiro of the Zamboanga City Police Office said they have formed a special investigation task group to focus on gathering more evidence and witnesses to establish the identities of the suspects.

He added that they are also looking into possible similarities of the bomb components used in Friday's explosion to those of other bomb attacks in Zamboanga City in the past months.

An 11-year old girl died, while more than 30 others were wounded in the explosion.

Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco has offered a P200,000 reward for the arrest of the bomber.