Daulah Islamiyah allegedly behind recent Mindanao bombings – military

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 27)— Islamic State group-linked Daulah Islamiyah was possibly behind two bombings in Mindanao, a military official said Friday.

“Allegedly is Dawlah Islamiyah ‘yung (was the) perpetrator,” Maj. Andrew Linao, spokesperson of the Western Mindanao Command, told CNN Philippines in an interview.

Linao said authorities are reviewing security footage in the cities of Koronadal and Tacurong – where the two attacks simultaneously happened Thursday afternoon – to identify the perpetrators.

He said officials are looking into two angles: diversionary tactic and extortion.

“Kasi nagkaroon tayo ng aerial bombing somewhere in Maguindanao two to three days ago, where meron[g] casualties to include ‘yung leadership nila,” Linao said.

“At tsaka ongoing pa ‘yung focused military operation diyan. So we are thinking na they are diverting our focused military operation, through this action para iniisip nila na mag-shift tayo ng focus,” he added.

[Translation: Because there was an aerial bombing somewhere in Maguindanao two to three days ago, where there were casualties, which included some of their leaders. And we have an ongoing focused military operation there. So we are thinking that they are diverting our focused military operation, maybe they were thinking we would shift our focus.]

In Koronadal City, an improvised explosive device (IED) went off inside a public utility bus along Barangay Zone 3, leaving one person injured, local officials reported.

Around the same time, another explosion also involving an IED occurred at a vacant lot in Barangay New Carmen, Tacurong City. There were no casualties.

Authorities vowed to dig deeper into the case. The Philippine National Police (PNP) said it formed a special investigation task group for the incidents.

“While the investigation is ongoing, security measures in all points of convergence and transportation networks has been intensified,” the PNP said.

CNN Philippines' Gerg Cahiles contributed to this report.