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1月30日のまにら新聞から

Ano not discounting suicide bombers caused Jolo blasts

[ 427 words|2019.1.30|英字 (English) ]

Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano on Tuesday said they are validating information that a couple allegedly left explosives at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Jolo before it exploded last Sunday.

This was revealed by Ano in a TV interview after he was asked if they are discounting suicide bombers as being behind the explosion that claimed at least 20 deaths, with 54 in the hospital.

“We are not discounting that because I have some information also but not yet validated that a couple was involved in the bombing,” he said.

Ano said the first improvised bomb was set by the woman and the second by the male

“But it has to be validated still… there are some witnesses who survived the blast who somebody saw a woman with a black jacket carrying a black bag who sat down on the fourth row so there is that possibility that black bag contained the bomb that exploded on the first explosion,” he said.

Ano also said they have information that bombs will explode in Basilan, Cotabato and in Jolo.

“That’s why we intensified (operations)... In fact, the soldiers who were killed in the explosion they are guarding the place 24 hours a day. They were sleeping at the gate of the cathedral,” he said.

“Somehow, there were some lapses, probably they became complacent because the BOL (Bangsamoro Organic Law) is finished. Supposedly, there should be no one going to church with a black bag, it’s not allowed,” he added.

He lauded the five soldiers killed in the line of duty.

Earlier, Philippine National Police chief Oscar Albayalde said the twin blasts in Jolo, Sulu is similar with the Lamitan bombing incident last 2018.

In a radio interview, Albayalde said the suspected member of the “Ajang-ajang” which is a faction of the Abu Sayyaf Group that was caught in the CCTV camera near the church pledged allegiance with ISIS.

“This is what we are seeing and we are looking into because it is similar with the incident in Lamitan. Remember that Lamitan bombing,” he said.

He added the Ajang-ajang group want to have recognition from the ISIS terrorist group.

The PNP chief said there are no CCTV cameras near the church.

He said the incident is a “plain act of terror”.

About the claim of ISIS that it’s suicide bombing, Albayalde said they have yet to confirm the identities of the two bodies found in the blast site.

“If they were identified by their relatives then it is impossible that there is a suicide bomber there,” he said. Ella Dionisio/DMS