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Police have arrested a 34-year old man who was tagged as the one who left an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) near the United States Embassy in Manila on Monday.
Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino, director of the Central Luzon regional police, identified the suspect as Rayson Kilala, a Muslim convert who now goes by the name Rashid Kilala.
“He is allegedly the prime suspect who put an IED near the US Embassy,” said Aquino.
The operation was carried out in Barangay Bagumbayan in Bulakan, Bulacan at around 10:30 a.m. yesterday.
The arrest of Kilala occurred a day after a computerized facial composite of a man who was identified as the one who left the IED that was wrapped on a plastic and left near the US Embassy.
But Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde, director of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), said they are not still sure if the person arrested in Bulacan was the one who left the bomb.
He said there were two persons of interest who are under the custodial investigation of the Manila Police District (MPD).
“As of know, we can not pinpoint yet if they are indeed the ones who left the bomb along Roxas Boulevard,” said Albayalde.
He, however, said that the arrest came after intense intelligence build-up based on information from various sources including the intelligence community.
Albayalde said they are yet to establish if those arrested have direct links with the Maute Group, a terror group based in Lanao provinces which is currently the subject of military operation in Mindanao.
Initial results of investigation revealed that the bomb found near the US Embassy is similar to the one used in Davao City night market bombing that left 14 people dead and more than 60 others injured.
“They would not talk but they are under the custodial investigation of the MPD,” said Albayalde.
Right now, Albayalde said follow-up operations are still on-going against all those who have a hand in the alleged bomb operation in front of the US Embassy.
“We are not discounting the possibility that this is a group and this is now the subject of our follow-up,” said Albayalde.