MANILA - The main suspect in a bomb attack in Davao City last month that left scores killed or wounded had links to a "terror" group, a regional police commander said Thursday.
The affiliation of the man, who allegedly planted the bomb at a packed night market, could not be immediately disclosed however as an investigation was still underway, said Chief Superintendent Manuel Gaerlan, Northern Mindanao police commander.
The Abu Sayyaf, a ragtag group of bandits that recently pledged allegiance to Islamic State jihadists, has claimed responsibility for the attack, which prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to place the entire country under a state of emergency.
"Iyan po ay nasa watch list po natin ng terror groups iyan... Na-identify po iyan sa series ng photographs na ipinakita natin sa ating mga witnesses [He is included in our watch list of terror groups. He was identified through a series of photographs we showed to our witnesses]," Gaerlan told DZMM.
Police on Wednesday filed multiple murder and frustrated murder complaints against the alleged bomber suspect and eight other suspects.
Of the nine charged, only the key suspect has been identified, but police are withholding his name.
Police release new sketch of Davao bombing suspects
Last week, Davao Mayor Sara Duterte raised a bounty for the arrest of the suspects to P3 million.
The death toll in the powerful explosion reached 15 after an injured pregnant woman passed away on Tuesday. Over 60 others were injured in the attack.
Gaerlan said one victim remained in intensive care while 50 others were still recovering in hospitals.