Charges filed vs. captured bombers in southern Philippines

18:43, October 26, 2010      

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Philippine police filed criminal charges against two of five suspects arrested following the deadly bus bombing in the southern Philippines last week that left ten people dead and dozens wounded.

Regional police spokesman Chief Inspector Alexis Yap told Xinhua Tuesday the charges were filed against a certain "Torex" and "Shiang", members of a local extortion group, at the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor in the city of Kidapawan.

The third suspect, a 15-year-old boy who admitted having planted the bomb inside the passenger bus, was not included on the charge sheet.

"We will use him as a state witness. He voluntarily turn over himself a day after the bombing," Yap said.

In a separate briefing, Armed Forces of the Philippines Spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta said the are members of a "high- profile extortion group in Central Mindanao." He decline to disclose the name of the group.

Officials have earlier theorized that the extortion group Al Khobar was behind the attack because it has subjected the bus firm to similar atrocities in the past.

The bus, Rural Transit, was carrying more than 50 passengers when the explosion shook the rear part of the vehicle from the overhead compartment. An 81-mm mortar shell was used to make the improvised explosive device.

Mabanta said the bus firm apparently did not heed the extortion demand of the group, leading to the attack.



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