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2 suspects in Marawi City blast identified

(UPDATE) THE Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday identified two suspects in the bombing inside the Mindanao State University (MSU) in Marawi City on December 3 that left four people dead and 54 others wounded.

PNP Public Affairs Chief Col. Jean Fajardo identified the two as Kadapi Mimbesa alias Engineer and Arsani Mimbesa alias Katab/Papitos. Both are operatives of the Daulah Islamiyah-Maute Group.

«They were identified by the witnesses through the rogue pictures shown to them by police probers, including their attire,» she said.

«When police reviewed the footage from the CCTV outside the MSU, we sighted the two suspects at 6:27 a.m. and were seen entering the gymnasium at about 7 a.m. All of those were seen in the enhanced footage,» Fajardo said.

She added that when the two suspects left the gymnasium, one of them pulled out his cell phone as if to make a call, then the explosion followed.

"[In the footage] before the explosion, they can be seen leaving the MSU, and one of the persons of interest appears to be making a call using his cell phone that might have triggered the explosion," Fajardo said. «Immediately after the explosion, the suspects left the MSU.»

In the same footage, Fajardo said Mimbesa was carrying a bag believed to be where the explosive was concealed.

Mimbesa had a standing warrant of arrest for murder issued on May 10, 2022. He is also facing a murder case in Marawi City and was previously involved in bombing incidents.

Probers matched bomb signatures from the 60mm mortar fragments recovered from the blast site and found them similar to the bomb the terrorist group used in bombing attacks in Mindanao.