AFP believes driver of van in Basilan is a courier, not bomber
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) expressed belief that the driver of the van carrying the improvised bomb that exploded in Basilan is not a bomber.
“We believe this person is not a bomber but instead he is just a courier because these improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were supposed to be distributed to different areas in Lamitan that is consistent on the intelligence information that we have,” Col. Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesman said in a radio interview.
“It shows that the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) is set to deploy IED’s in crowded areas in Lamitan City,” he added.
Arevalo also explained that the possibility that the improvised bombs were triggered by another ASG member near the area or by the cellular phone of the government troops who inspect the vehicle.
“It is also possible that it was triggered by his comrade who was behind or in front like a sweeper. Maybe they saw that it was already compromised that is why to maximize impact since the soldiers are there he detonated the bomb. Or the (other) plausible explanation is it could be the cellphones of our soldiers that conduct the inspection,” he said.
It can be recalled that in a previous interview, Arevalo disclosed that the military believes that the driver of the van whose identify is not yet known is part of the Abu Sayyaf group led by Furuji Indama.
Arevalo also reiterates the identity of the driver is not yet confirmed by authorities amid the claim of ISIS that the explosion was executed by a Moroccan terrorist.
“Those who were claiming that (the driver) is a foreigner, a Morrocan, no one can give his identity because the driver also died during the explosion and the Cafgu and soldier inspecting the van also died heroically performing their acts,” he said.
A total of 10 people including soldiers, militiamen and civilians were killed while seven others were wounded after a van carrying IED’s exploded in a checkpoint in Brgy. Colonia Lamitan City around 5:50 am last Tuesday. Robina Asido/DMS