Probers looking into CCTV clip of Jolo church blasts

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 28 2019 08:04 AM | Updated as of Jan 28 2019 10:51 AM

MANILA - Investigators have found surveillance footage of the twin explosions that killed and injured dozens at a Catholic church in Jolo, Sulu, the military said Monday.

The video would be a big help in the probe of the bombing that ripped through Jolo Cathedral during a Mass on Sunday, said Col. Gerry Besana, spokesperson of the military's Western Mindanao Command.

"Ito ay isa sa magiging basehan po at makakatulong nang malaki sa kina-conduct po na investigation," Besana told radio DZMM.

(This will be a basis and will greatly help in the ongoing investigation.)

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Authorities, he added, were finalizing a probe into the bombs' "signature," which could identify those behind the attack.

The first bomb exploded around 8 a.m., shattering pews, breaking windows, and leaving bodies strewn inside the Jolo Cathedral. As troops rushed to help the wounded, a second bomb went off in the parking area.

The bombing killed at least 20 people and injured 112 others, including 3 children, according to command incident spokesperson Faghry Ukkoh.

The bloodshed comes less than a week after a plebiscite approved a new region giving Muslims in the south more control over their own affairs, which sparked hopes of quelling long-time separatist violence.

Sulu voted against creating the new region, but the area will still be part of the Bangsamoro because voters from across the current autonomous region voted in favor of it on the whole.

The military on Sunday said it believes that Abu Sayyaf bandits could be behind the fatal explosions.

Sulu is a known lair of the Abu Sayyaf, which is linked to the Al-Qaeda network. The group is believed to have carried out the worst terror attacks in Philippine history including the bombing of a passenger ferry in Manila Bay that killed more than 100 people in 2004.

It has also kidnapped many foreigners and Filipino Christians, hiding them in the jungles of Jolo and other southern islands.

The whole Mindanao is under martial law until the end of 2019.

President Rodrigo Duterte first declared military rule in the south when firefights erupted between state troops and terrorists in Marawi City in May 2017.

With a report from Agence France-Presse