Philippine official: Foreign militant behind van explosion
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A Philippine official says a foreign militant was behind a powerful van blast that targeted a big public gathering but failed after the vehicle stalled and instead killed the suspect and 10 others.
Interior Undersecretary Eduardo Ano says there’s no conclusive evidence the Islamic State group plotted the would-be suicide bombing. He says the extremist group could benefit by claiming it to project strength and gain new recruits.
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for last week’s blast.
Ano says the suspected militant asked villagers to push his van after it stalled but they became suspicious after seeing unusual wires in the explosives-laden vehicle, which blew up near a security outpost in the outskirts of Lamitan city on Basilan island.