From InterAksyon (Jan 29): Slain Pikit bombers 'students' of Marwan, Usman - police
The mangled bodies of suspected bombers Asrap Mohamad and Jhomar Palaguyan lie on the road, their black motorbike beside them, after an improvised explosive device in a knapsack they carried exploded prematurely. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
The two men killed in Pikit, North Cotabato early this week when the bomb they were supposedly set to plant exploded prematurely were “new graduates” of wanted terror suspects Zulkifli bin Hir, alias “Marwan,” and Jemaah Islamiyah-trained Filipino Basit Usman, police said.
Asrap Mohamad and Jhomar Palaguyan “were on a test mission when the improvised explosive device or IED made of 60mm mortar round one of them (was) carrying in his knapsack exploded. They were new graduates of Marwan and Usman,” Pikit police chief Senior Inspector Sindatu Mundas Karim said.
Mohamad and Palaguyan were riding a motorcycle when the bomb went off.
A bystander was also wounded in the incident.
Karim said the IED carried by Mohamad and Palaguyan bore the “signature of the international terrorists Marwan and Usman. We’ve information the place (where) these IEDs (were) manufactured was within the Liguasan Marsh.”
Marwan and Usman were the targets of Sunday’s botched Special Action Force operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao that saw 44 police commandos slain in clashes with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.
Although the government claims Marwan was killed in the operation, no proof of this has so far been shown. Usman had apparently sneaked out of the kill zone during the 12-hour fighting, said initial reports.
Karim said Mohamad was a BIFF member.