Suicide blast in Sulu 'locally initiated': police


Posted at Jul 10 2019 05:04 PM | Updated as of Jul 10 2019 05:22 PM

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MANILA -- A deadly blast in the southern Philippines last June, the first to involve a Filipino suicide bomber, was "locally initiated," contrary the claim of Islamic State jihadists, police said Wednesday.

The assertion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS remains "up for validation," said Col. Bernard Banac, spokesman of the Philippine National Police.

"Based on the information na nakuha natin (we received), this is a locally initiated attack organized by the Abu Sayyaf group," Banac said in a joint press briefing with the military.

"We known for a fact that a lot of incidents have already happened perpetrated by the Abu Sayyaf group. Ito po ay (This is a) locally initiated na terrorist act."

ISIS claimed the assault was the handiwork of 2 suicide attackers, according to tweets from Rita Katz, the director of SITE Intelligence Group which monitors jihadist activities worldwide. 

Political and security analysts said the attacks showed that ISIS was still present in the country.

Authorities earlier said one of the two suicide bombers in the attack was a Filipino named Norman Lasuca, the first validated case of a Philippine citizen involved in such an attack. 

Eight people, including the bombers and three soldiers, were killed while 12 others were wounded in the incident.