Authorities verify identity of Indonesian couple in Jolo blast

MANILA Source: BERNAMA (News AgencyDepartment of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo AAo on Tuesday said authorities are still in the process of verifying identities of the suicide bombers who carried out the twin bombings in a church in Jolo, Sulu.

"Bombers are Indonesian couple (husband and wife). Identification is on the process but may take time. The Indonesian government is willing to assist. It is officially confirmed that it's a case of suicide bombing," AAo said in a message to reporters.

It was AAo who first revealed that the suicide bombers in the twin blast at Our Lady of Mount Carmel are Indonesians, based on his intelligence sources.

The DILG Secretary said the confirmation is based on post-blast and forensic investigation as well as the testimonies of survivors.

AAo also said that Jolo twin blasts perpetrated by suicide bombers is one of the ways foreign terrorists are educating Filipino Muslim terrorists on how to cause chaos in the country.

"That is what they are trying to do. By showing and doing these suicide bombings, they are expecting Filipino Muslim terrorists would follow soon. They underestimate the influence of Filipino culture to our Muslim brothers," he told reporters.

There has been no record of any suicide bombing in the Philippines committed by a Filipino terrorist as it was deemed too violent by security officials and experts.

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde said that they would further validate the information by conducting a DNA test on two unclaimed pairs of feet.

"It will be part of our DNA testing. We will subject everyone who died in DNA testing even if it is a long process," Albayalde said.

He said they are already coordinating with their Indonesian counterparts in identifying the couple.

The woman reportedly was the one who detonated the first improvised explosive device (IED) inside the church then the man detonated the second IED at the church entrance seconds later.

Albayalde said the investigation on the church bombing is still far from over as there are more pieces of evidence that need to be carefully examined to test its consistency with other facts and circumstances surrounding the incident. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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