TWO female suicide bombers who were behind the twin blasts in Jolo, Sulu that killed at least 15 people and injured more than 70 others have been identified said Philippine Army (PA) commander, Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana.
In a message to reporters, Sobejana named the two by their aliases – “Nanah”, a resident of Basilan, and “Inda Nay”, a Sulu resident who later relocated to Tawi-Tawi.
Sobejana said “Nanah” was the wife of the first confirmed Filipino suicide bomber, Norman Lasuca, who conducted the attack against the 1st Brigade Combat Team in Sulu on June 28, 2019, which left seven people dead and 12 others wounded.
Meanwhile, “Inda Nay” was the widow of reported Islamic State conduit, Abu Talha, who was killed following an encounter with the 1st Scout Ranger Battalion in November 2019.
“The two female suicide bombers are the same targets being tracked by the group of Maj. (Marvin) Indammog before they were killed by policemen on 29 June 2020,” Sobejana added.
Indammog, Capt. Irwin B. Managuelod, Sgt. Jaime M. Velasco, and Cpl. Abdal Asula were conducting intelligence and monitoring operations against two suspected suicide bombers when they were gunned down by nine police officers in Jolo, Sulu.
Sobejana also grieved over the death of the eight soldiers who died in the blasts.
“The Philippine Army grieves over the death of these men. We honor their sacrifice in serving our country and protecting the people of Jolo, Sulu. To the bereaved families of our troops, we extend our deepest condolences. Rest assured that the Army is here to help you and is ready to extend the necessary assistance,” he said in a separate statement.
Killed in the blasts were Staff Sergeants Louie Cuarteros, Manuelito Oria and Privates Omair Muksan, Juvienjay Emlani, John Ray Paler, Aiub Sahid from the 21st Infantry Battalion and Private John Agustin from the 35th Infantry Battalion.
Their remains were sent to their respective provinces to be given funeral honors.
Sobejana added that the PA will provide burial assistance, command financial assistance and special financial assistance to the families of the slain troops.