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Philippines arrests man in fatal US bombing

01 december 2011, 18:11
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Hussin Ahaddin (L), a suspect in the bombing of a small hotel on November 28, is escorted after his arrest by police to a police station in Zamboanga City. ©AFP
Hussin Ahaddin (L), a suspect in the bombing of a small hotel on November 28, is escorted after his arrest by police to a police station in Zamboanga City. ©AFP
Philippine authorities have arrested a suspected Muslim extremist allegedly involved in fatal bombings including one that killed a US soldier in 2002, AFP reports, citing police Wednesday.

The suspect, Hussin Ahaddin, 38, has admitted being behind at least two bombings in the southern port city of Zamboanga including the blast that killed a US soldier, city police chief Senior Superintendent Edwin de Ocampo said.

"He admitted in the course of investigation that he was involved in that incident that killed an American," de Ocampo told AFP .

A bomb planted on a motorcycle killed one American soldier and three Filipinos and injured another US soldier and several other bystanders in October, 2002.

Ahaddin also admitted helping carry out the bombing of two Zamboanga department stores several days later, killing seven people, de Ocampo said.

Police are also checking to see if the suspect was involved in the deadly bombing of a small hotel in Zamboanga on Sunday that killed three people and wounded 27 others, the police chief added.

De Ocampo said the suspect was a member of the Abu Sayyaf, an Islamic extremist group with links to the Al-Qaeda network of Osama bin Laden and which has been blamed for the worst terror attacks in Philippine history.

US troops have been based in the strife-torn southern Philippines since 2001 to help train local forces to track down the Abu Sayyaf after the extremist band carried out a rash of bombings and kidnapping attacks.

A handcuffed Ahaddin was briefly shown to reporters but he said nothing and merely stared at them.

However his sister Julaida Arasain, 32, said he was an innocent driver of a motorcycle-taxi and that he may have been picked up due to mistaken identity.

"We are asking for help. All the accusations against my brother are untrue. He is innocent," the sister told reporters, sobbing.

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