PNP: 2nd ‘suicide bomber’ in Sulu possibly a Filipino
MANILA, Philippines — The second bomber in the twin explosions that rocked a military camp in Indanan, Sulu and left seven dead, could also be a Filipino, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde said Thursday.
Albayalde said the PNP is not discounting this possibility, as no relative of the second bomber has surfaced to claim his remains, which could also pave the way for a DNA test.
“That’s a possibility. Possibility ‘yun. Pwede rin naman siyang foreigner (he could also be a foreigner)” he told reporters in a chance interview when asked for comment on Sulu Gov. Abdusakur Tan’s theory that the second bomber could also be a local.
Both the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the PNP confirmed on Wednesday that 23-year-old Norman Lasuca, the first suspected suicide bomber in the June 28 blasts, was Filipino, citing positive DNA test results between samples taken from his body and those from his mother and brother.
Lasuca, a reported member of the Abu Sayyaf Group, allegedly detonated an improvised explosive device on his body and damaged the gate of the temporary headquarters of the Philippine Army’s 1st Brigade Combat Team in Indanan town, allowing the second bomber to enter the camp.
The second bomber was immediately neutralized by soldiers before he was able to set off the bomb.
Although visual assessment and reports from ground troops have suggested that the second bomber was a Moroccan, Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the AFP’s Western Mindanao Command, said there is no proof yet for this presumption.
Albayalde said the presence of Filipino suicide bombers – the first being Lasuca – means a change in the “playing field” between state security forces and terrorists.
“I think the more we should get serious on this, hindi lang (not just) the PNP and AFP but also the government,” he said. /muf
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