COTABATO CITY: Residents here remembered the first year anniversary of a car bombing that killed eight people and wounded 30 others.
Officials and families of the victims marched to the crime scene at Sinsuat Avenue while chanting “justice for the victims”. They also attended a mass and held a candle-lighting activity in search for justice.
Authorities have released sketched photos of the three suspects, but did not disclose their identities.
Cotabato City Administrator Atty. Cynthia Guiani Sayadi, one of the wounded, insists that they were the “primary target” of the car bomb.
But both the military and the police are eyeing members of the Khilafah Islamiya Movement (KIM) as behind the blast.
The KIM, known for its radical ideologies, has been linked with other brigand groups such as splinter groups of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Abu Sayyaf Group, the Bang–samoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, Al-Khobar Group and Rajah Solaiman Movement, which are also known for bombing, kidnapping, extortion and beheading activities.
The KIM, also known as Khilafah Islamiyah Mindanao, wants to re-establish Khilafah Islamiya or Islamic caliphate governance which was last seen during the Ottoman Empire in Turkey. The group opposes human-made laws like democratic form of govern- ment including the proposed Bangsamoro law envisioned to end conflicts in Mindanao.
The extremist group was believed to be organized by a certain Ustadz Humam Abdul Najid in early 2012.
The police said the group was also responsible for the July 26, 2013 bombing at the Limketkai shopping complex that left eight dead and the Maxandrea Hotel bombing on October 11, 2012 that killed two.
The bombing in Maxandrea was the group protest against GMA 7 for filming the marriage between a Christian man and a Muslim woman, which is against the customs and traditions of the Muslims.
Police said some KIM members are affiliated with the Southeast Asian militant Islamist terrorist organization Jema’ah Islamiya (JI).
A Special Project Mindanao Khilafah Islamiya (SPMKI) has been formed and remains active, it was learned.