By Nonoy Lacson
ZAMBOANGA CITY – Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Chair Yusop Jikiri expressed his deepest condolences to the families of the 11 victims who died in a car bomb explosion in Colonia, Lamitan City, Tuesday morning, even as he also condemned the bomb attack that was perpetrated by terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).
Jikiri said the car bomb attack, which was reportedly perpetrated by the ASG early Tuesday morning, was “uncalled for and un-Islamic and described the car bomb attack as a dastardly act to kill, maim, and injure innocent civilians of Lamitan City.”
At least 11 people, including a soldier, four members of the Citizen Armed forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) and five civilians all dependents of CAFGUs, were killed in the attack.
The explosion also wounded six soldiers, including a junior officer and a CAFGU.
The ASG detonated a car bomb at a joint military and CAFGU detachment located in the village of Bulanting bordering Colonia in Lamitan City at about 5:50am, Tuesday.
According to a report, the van had come from the town of Moh Ajul in Basilan province, a known haven of the ASG in the province.
Jikiri said that if the ASG was able to transport the IED to the city proper of Lamitan City, the destruction would have been more extensive considering that the manifest power of the bomb was enough to level a three-story building.
Armed Forces of the Philippines – Western Mindanao Command (AFP-WesMinCom) Commander Lt. Gen. Arnel de la Vega vowed to use all the resources available under his command to thwart attempts by terrorists to disrupt the peace obtaining in Western Mindanao.
“Local police and AFP personnel are not going to stop in the investigation and in pursuing every lead to identify and neutralize all those who were part of this abominable attempt by terrorists to kill innocent civilians and destroy properties,” he said.
Dela Vega called on “our people to be vigilant and continue their active participation with security forces in reporting their observations.”