Brig. Gen. William Gonzales, the commander of Joint Task Force Sulu, today alleged that two female suicide bombers were responsible for the twin explosions that rocked Jolo, Sulu earlier this week.
Gonzales identified the deceased suspects to reporters only by their aliases: Nanah, a native of Basilan, and Inda Nhay, from Sulu. The first is believed to be the widow of the suicide bomber Norman Lasuca, who died when he detonated himself at a Sulu army detachment in June last year.
Meanwhile, Inda Nhay is allegedly the wife of Abu Talha, a bomb expert and an Abu Sayyaf member who was suspected to have been in contact with the ISIS. He was allegedly killed during a firefight with army troops in Sulu in November.
Brig. Gen. Gonzales said that CCTV footage retrieved from the bomb site allegedly showed one of the women detonating herself near a parked motorcycle, while the other suspect allegedly triggered her explosive device after she was confronted by a soldier near the site of the first explosion.
The army did not identify which suspect was responsible for the respective explosions. Philippine Army Chief Cirilito Sobejana alleged that the women may have motivated by the death of their husbands to commit the crimes. He added that martial law should be implemented in Sulu so that follow up attacks could be prevented, a recommendation that is being considered by the Duterte government.
The twin bombings have prompted authorities to put the entire town of Jolo under indefinite lockdown while the incidents are being investigated.
At least 20 individuals, including soldiers, a cop, and civilians, were reportedly killed from the improvised bomb explosion, while 112 others were wounded.
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