MANILA, KOMPAS.com – An Indonesian woman is among the prime suspects in two suicide bombings that killed at least 14 people and wounded 75 others on Monday, August 24 in Jolo, the capital of the island province of Sulu in the Philippines.
“One of the [suicide bombers] was probably the Indonesian wife of the Filipino suicide bomber who blew himself up ... in the town of Indanan on Sulu [island] in 2019,” Philippine Army Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana told television station ABS-CBN.
“Investigators had collected the remains of the suspects for forensic tests to determine who the Indonesian national was, and who carried out which attack,” he told ABS-CBN.
Also read: Islamist Militants Behind Bombing in the Philippines' Jolo Island
The Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has yet to get confirmation on the matter.
“[The ministry] has yet to receive official confirmation on whether the Indonesian woman suspected of being the [Jolo] suicide bomber who carried out the act,” said ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah.
“Military and police reports indicated that the attacks hit security personnel and civilians as many of the former were helping the local governments in their fight against Covid-19,” said Philippine counterterrorist task force spokesman Rex Payot.
He added that the second blast struck near the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, which was also targeted in attacks last year.
Also read: Indonesian Counterterrorist Police Arrest 9 Terror Suspects in West Sumatra
Philippines authorities, including those on Sulu Island, blamed the Abu Sayyaf militant group for the bombings, though the group have yet to admit responsibility. The country has been hit by six suicide bombings over the past three years.
Investigators suspected Abu Sayyaf to be behind the recent attacks and other suicide bombings. The group pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in Syria. Abu Sayyaf is known for launching terrorist attacks and kidnappings since 1989.
They claimed responsibility for the sinking of Superferry 14 in 2004. The blast killed 116 people, including 15 children.
(Editor: Ardi Priyatno Utomo)
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