7 foreign terrorists 'grooming' suicide bombers in Mindanao: official

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 24 2019 03:35 PM | Updated as of Jul 24 2019 09:32 PM

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Seven foreign terrorists are "grooming" locals to become suicide bombers in the restive south, a military official said Wednesday.

The extremists are scattered in Basilan, Sulu and Maguindanao provinces, and were recently seen training local extremists in making explosives, said Maj. Marvin Encinas, spokesperson of the military's Western Mindanao Command.

"They're grooming local terrorist groups to become suicide bombers," he told ANC.

Curbing the recruitment of terror groups is "very challenging" and requires a "whole nation approach", he said.
 
Suicide attacks are generally rare in the Philippines, but the tactic has been used in 2 major incidents in the last 12 months: the January bombing of a Catholic cathedral during Sunday mass and a van blast at a military checkpoint on the island of Basilan in July 2018, authorities said.

Last June, the Islamic State also claimed that 2 suicide bombers carried out an attack near a military camp in Sulu.

The Philippines has received sustained attention from IS as it works to maintain a presence via its global affiliates following the fall of its self-proclaimed "caliphate" in the Middle East.

The Muslim areas of the south are home to numerous armed groups, several of which are linked to the decades-old insurgency aiming to create a homeland in the Christian-majority nation. With a report from Agence France-Presse


ANC, July 24, 2019