Indonesian couple tagged as suicide bombers in Jolo cathedral
An Indonesian couple were allegedly the suicide bombers in the attacks at the cathedral in Jolo last Sunday, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo A?o said on Friday.
In an interview in Tacloban City, Leyte, the former military general said the Indonesian couple was guided by the local terrorist Abu Sayyaf when the attacks were launched on January 27 during a mass.
"I have sources that these bombings were project of the Abu Sayyaf and foreign terrorists affiliated with the ISIS (Islamic State)," he said.
He said the actual suicide bombers were the Indonesian couple.
Ano said he did not see any connection with the explosions in the Jolo cathedral and in the mosque in Zamboanga City on January 30, killing two persons and injuring three others.
"But Lamitan (in Basilan) bombing and Jolo bombing....they are connected," he said, referring to the July 2018 attack.
During that time, a van which was flagged down at a checkpoint in Lamitan exploded, killing 10 individuals.
A?o said the attackers could have found the chance to bomb the church because the security measure was somewhat "relaxed" after the peaceful holding of the plebiscite for the Bangsamoro Organic Law on January 21.
But he said the five soldiers who were among the 22 people who were killed were the ones manning the church.
"They (soldiers) died while on the line of duty," he said.
A?o represented President Rodrigo Duterte, who skipped the event in Tacloban City because he was not feeling well. Celerina Monte/DMS