Philippines’ Army Says Two Widows of ISIS Fighters Are Responsible for Two Suicide Bombings That Killed 15 People and Injured 80 Near Cathedral

In this handout photo provided by the Philippine Red Cross, soldiers secured an area after two explosions struck the town of Jolo in the Philippine province of Sulu on Monday. Credit…Philippine National Red Cross, via Associated Press

The Philippines’ Army said two widows of pro-Islamic State fighters were behind this week’s twin suicide bombings that killed at least 15 people and wounded 80 others near a cathedral in a southern Philippine island, which is a stronghold of Islamist terror group Abu Sayyaf.

“There were two bombers. A suicide bomber was involved in the first explosion. The second suicide bomber blew herself up after she was arrested after the first explosion,” military spokesman Brig. Gen. William Gonzales said, according to UCA News.

On Monday, the two women blew themselves up in the attacks that killed at least 15 people — including seven soldiers, six civilians and a policeman — and injured 80 others in the city of Jolo, the capital of mainly Muslim Sulu province in the far south of the country, whose population is majority Roman Catholic.

The first attacker was the wife of Norman Lasuca, the first-ever suicide bomber in the Philippines, and the other was the wife of Talha Abu Talha, an Islamic State bomb expert, who was killed in a clash with security forces in November 2019 in the southern Philippines, according to International Christian Concern.

Bishop Charlie Inzon of the Vicariate Apostolic of Jolo expressed “deep grief and sorrow.”

“We have lost brothers, sisters and friends, and we are in deep grief and sorrow. We are one with their families in this difficult time, for they were also a family to us,” UCA News quoted Inzon as saying. “They have died as martyrs witnessing to their Christian faith as they braved to stay in Jolo despite constant intimidation and risks.”

The Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need also condemned the bombings.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Anugrah Kumar