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Bombing and arson suspect of 2 North Cotabato buses captured

Bombing Ali Akbar

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – The suspected mastermind of the Yellow Bus Line (YBL) bus bombing in Tulunan, North Cotabato on January 27, 2021, and the burning of another YBL bus in M’Lang, North Cotabato on June 3, 2021, that killed a total of four (4) innocent civilians were captured by security forces during a joint law enforcement operation.

Ali Akbar was arrested in a joint law enforcement operation by joint elements of 602nd Infantry Brigade and 90th Infantry Battalion in close coordination with the 72nd Infantry Battalion, Kidapawan City Police Station, and 1st Cotabato Provincial Mobile Force Company at Purok 3, Barangay East Patadon, Kidapawan City today, June 21, 2021, at around 5:00 in the morning.

According to Brig. Gen. Roberto Capulong, Commander of 602nd Infantry Brigade, Akbar is a bomb and improvised explosive device (IED) expert and an extortionist belonging to the Dawlah Islamiya-Hassan Group.

“Akbar was nabbed based on the warrant of arrest issued by Branch 23, Regional Trial Court, 12th Judicial Region for double murder and multiple frustrated murder,” BGen. Capulong disclosed, adding that authorities seized two (2) IEDs, one (1) blasting cap, several IED components, and an ISIS flag from the possession of Akbar.

It can be recalled that a bomb went off beside the Yellow Bus Line unit on Jan. 27, 2021, at Tulunan, North Cotabato, wherein a fruit vendor died while three other victims were injured. Similarly, another unit of YBL was burned in M’Lang, North Cotabato on June 3, 2021, killing three passengers who were trapped inside.

BIFFMaj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, Commander of JTF Central and 6th Infantry Division, vowed to continuously pursue and hunt down the remnants of the said terrorist group. “They [DI] do not have a place in our community and with the help of the residents and local government units in Central Mindanao, we will defeat them ultimately,” MGen. Uy added.

Recently, several provinces and municipalities in Central Mindanao have declared the BIFF and Di terrorist groups as persona-non-grata, emphasizing that said groups do not belong in their communities. Alongside, the Provinces of North Cotabato and Maguindanao launched their respective social intervention programs called DIWATA-HAVEN and AGILA-HAVEN, respectively, to encourage members of said groups to return to the folds of the law and help the government thwart and address terrorism in this part of the country.