MANILA — The Indonesian widow of the first-ever Filipino suicide bomber could be behind the double bombing that ripped through Jolo, Sulu this week, a military official said Tuesday.
A woman detonated explosives in the town plaza of Jolo on Monday, while authorities were cordoning off the area after a first blast in which an improvised explosive device attached to a motorcycle outside a supermarket blew up, authorities earlier said.
Prior to the attack, authorities had been hunting down 2 female suicide bombers in the area, said Philippine Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana.
One of these is the Indonesian widow of Norman Lasuca, who set off a bomb strapped to his torso in Indanan town in June 2019, killing 6 people. The other is the Filipino wife of Abu Dalha, a subleader of an Abu Sayyaf unit, he said.
Authorities need to conduct a DNA test on body parts left in the crime scene to determine which of these women is the suicide bomber and which of them was responsible for the first blast, said Sobejana.
“Hindi natin matiyak kung alin doon iyong asawa ni Lasuca,” he told ABS-CBN News.
(We cannot ascertain yet which of them is the wife of Lasuca.)
Lasuca’s attack killed 3 soldiers manning the camp gate and 3 civilians who were nearby.
Monday’s double bombing left 14 people dead and injured at least 75 people, authorities said.
Security analyst Rommel Banlaoi earlier said the suicide bomber could be the daughter of 2 Indonesian suicide bombers that attacked a church in Jolo in January 2019.
The bombing of Mount Carmel Cathedral killed at least 20 people and was blamed on a group linked to Abu Sayyaf.
The Abu Sayyaf, whose leader Anduljihad "Idang" Susukan was arrested last week, is the prime suspect in Monday’s twin blasts, authorities earlier said.
Investigators have yet to find a link between the attack and policemen's fatal shooting of 4 soldiers who were tailing 2 Abu Sayyaf suicide bombers in Jolo last June, a military official said Tuesday.
Report from Zhander Cayabyab, ABS-CBN News