Police hunt down 3 more suspects in Zambo blast

POLICE tracker teams have fanned out across Western Mindanao to hunt for three more suspects in the explosion at the Zamboanga International Airport last week that authorities believe was a botched attempt to assassinate Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan.

Only two of the suspects – Addong Salahuddin and Allan Troita Sabaddin – have been identified. The third suspect was only described as being in his 50s.

Two suspects who authorities say took the bomb into the airport arrival area – Reynaldo Apilado and Hatimil Yacub, alias Harun, died in the explosion. Security cameras at the airport showed Apilado as the one who carried the bomb in a backpack.

The explosion wounded 24 other persons, including Tan.

A statement from Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Senior Superintendent Agrimero Cruz Jr., said a background check on Yacub showed him to be a native of Lantawan, Basilan “with close ties to Mindanao NGO leader Cocoy Tulawie, a key suspect in the March 13, 2009 roadside bombing in Jolo, Sulu in an earlier attempt on the life of Sulu Governor Sakur Tan.”

Chief Superintendent Angelo Sunglao, head of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations in Western Mindanao, reported that Salahuddin was the man in a yellow shirt seen in closed circuit television footage checking into the Imperial Hotel in downtown Zamboanga with Apilado, Yacub and two other suspects.

Sabaddin was also seen in CCTV footage taken from the front desk of the hotel on July 27 with another suspect, who was wearing a striped T-shirt.

Witnesses also saw the suspects together outside the ZIA arrival terminal moments before the explosion, Sunglao said. Anthony Vargas

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