NICA, Bangsamoro police say at least two persons of interest in MSU bombing linked to local terrorists
At least two persons of interest involved in the bombing incident at the Mindanao State University (MSU) in Marawi on Sunday were linked to terrorists according to the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) and the Bangsamoro police.
Four persons were reported killed as the blast took place as a mass was being held, said the Philippine National Police (PNP). Fifty were injured, with five in serious condition, PNP added.
CNN Philippines reported that the Islamic State admitted responsibility for the explosion but a security official said they are still verifying this.
“As of this time, the persons of interest are local. The investigators are still assessing the trademark, especially since there is an admission from one group,” NICA Director Ricardo de Leon told dzBB.
“We are looking at different angles and complimenting evidence…For now, we have identified two (persons of interest) initially,” he added.
De Leon said they are still confirming if Dawlah Islamiyah (DI) was among the perpetrators.
“We have an admission from DI saying that there are people from East Asia involved. So it has to be confirmed. We can that there are foreign elements involved. But until such time that the forensic team completes its investigation, until this time, they say that IED (Improvised Explosive Device) was used,” he said.
Citing investigators, De Leon said they have not gathered closed circuit TV (CCTV) footage inside the gym but there was footage outside the venue of two people “that can hardly cover their movement”.
In a separate interview with Unang Balita, Bangsamoro Police Regional Office chief Brig. Gen. Allan Nobleza said they have placed cops under full alert.
“ In fact, we put the Bangsamoro region in full alert status... considering what happened in Marawi yesterday. It means that we put more policemen on the ground, we intensified our checkpoints and police visibilities increased,” Nobleza said. Jaspearl Tan/DMS