World, Asia - Pacific

Suspects ‘surrender’ in Philippines church bombing case

Last week’s bombing left 27 people dead and more than 100 injured

04.02.2019
Suspects ‘surrender’ in Philippines church bombing case

By Riyaz ul Khaliq

ANKARA

At least five people suspected of involvement in a recent bomb attack on a church in the Philippines have been taken into custody, local media reported Monday.

At least 27 people were killed last week when a bomb went off in the Jolo Cathedral Church, which is located on the Philippines’ southwestern island of Jolo (administratively part of the country’s Sulu province).

Philippines police announced Monday that an individual -- Kammah Pae, otherwise known as “Kammah” -- had surrendered to the Philippine Army’s 35th Infantry Battalion on Saturday.

According to local daily The Manila Bulletin, Pae has since been turned over to police in Jolo.

In a statement, Philippine National Police Director General Oscar Albayalde said that four of Kammah’s associates had also surrendered separately to local police units in Sulu on Sunday.

Three days after the church bombing, two people were killed in a grenade attack on a mosque in Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines.

Notably, the attacks occurred in the run-up to a referendum on whether or not to grant comprehensive autonomy to the region’s community of Moro Muslims.

Amador Corpus, director of the Philippines Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, said the attack on the church had been planned “for about a year”.

“The incident is an apparent case of suicide bombing,” Corpus said, going on to assert that an “Indonesian couple” was suspected of having taken part the bombing, which, in addition to killing 27 people, left more than 100 others injured.

In a statement, Albayalde postulated: “The first explosive device was detonated by the [Indonesian] woman inside the cathedral at 8:28 a.m. Her partner detonated the second device in the parking area of the cathedral at 8:29 a.m.”

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