Military: One of MSU bombing suspects arrested

Military personnel stand guard while police investigators (background) look for evidence after a bomb attack in a Mindanao State University gymnasium in Marawi, Lanao del Sur on December 3, 2023.  (Photo by Merlyn Manos/ AFP)

(Eagle News) — One of the suspects in the weekend bombing of the Mindanao State University gymnasium that killed at least four people has been arrested.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines identified the nabbed suspect as Jafar Gamo Sultan alias “Jaf” and “Kurot.”

AFP public affairs office chief Col. Xerxes Trinidad said the suspect, who was arrested in an operation in Barangay Dulay Proper in Marawi, was “a companion of a certain Omar, the person identified by witnesses to have placed the improvised explosive device (IED) at the Dimaporo Gymnasium.”

So far, authorities are probing whether the arrested suspect has links to the local terrorist group Daulah Islamiyah – Maute.

According to Trinidad, Sultan’s arrest shows the government’s commitment to capturing those responsible for the deadly attack on December 3, which also injured several people.

“It also demonstrates the AFP’s commitment to its mandate as protector of the people and the state,” he added.

President Bongbong Marcos has already denounced the bombing, vowing to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the senseless and most heinous acts perpetrated by foreign terrorists upon the Mindanao State University (MSU) and Marawi communities early this Sunday morning. Extremists who wield violence against the innocent will always be regarded as enemies to our society,” he had said shortly after the attack.