Bomb explodes near Lamitan city hall; no one hurt

RJ Rosalado, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 31 2016 12:40 AM

LAMITAN – A loud explosion rocked Lamitan City, Basilan, Friday night.

Lamitan city Vice-Mayor Roderick Furigay said the explosion happened near city hall, about 3 to 4 meters away from its concrete fence.

The blast left no visible damage to property and no one was hurt, Furigay said.

Chief Inspector Tauf Abdurahim, head of the Lamitan police, said the blast was caused by an improvised explosive device.

The explosive ordinance disposal unit recovered bomb fragments, which were placed in a container shaped like a pipe and wrapped in paper.

While authorities have yet to identify a suspect, Furigay believed that an urban terrorist group linked to the Abu Sayyaf group was behind the explosion. 

The group is accused of extorting money from local officials and businessmen.

Security in Lamitan has been tightened following the group's threats to plant bombs around the city, the mayor said. 

Before Christmas day, another bomb went off near the Poblacion. Nobody was injured there.