Cotabato blast suspects nabbed

POLICE and military authorities arrested on Saturday noon four suspects in the deadly bombing of a passenger bus in Matalam town in North Cotabato last Thursday.

Camp Aguinaldo yesterday identified the arrested suspects as Ibrahim Alimanan, Alex Samal, Yazer Talusog and Abdulhalib Talusob. Lt. Col. Benjamin Hao, spokesman of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said they were apprehended at their hideout in Cotabato City’s Sharif district.

“The suspects were involved in the bus bombing in Matalam, North Cotabato,” Hao said in the reports.

He said the suspects were jointly arrested by by the Naval Intelligence Security Unit (NISU) in Cotabato City, the PNP’s Task Force Tugis, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), Cotabato Provincial Police and North Cotabato CIDG.

Earlier, Army and police operatives arrested a certain Piko Tangkulo, one of the five suspects in the bombing or Rural Transit Bus.

Hao said, Tangkulo, revealed during the ensuing investigation that he was part of the bombing incident and started to reveal the identities of his companions and disclosed their whereabouts.

Tangkulo was allegedly the one who brought the improvised explosive device (IED) aboard the bus, he said.

The arrested suspects were brought to the headquarters of the North Cotabato Provincial Police Office in Kidapawan City for proper disposition, the Army official said.

Ten people were killed, seven of them on the spot, and more than 20 others were injured when an IED went off inside a Rural Transit bus, which at the time was carrying more than 50 passengers.

The bus was heading to Tacurong City from Cagayan de Oro City. Anthony Vargas

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