Sayyaf faction tagged in Sulu bombing

Roel Pareño - The Philippine Star
Sayyaf faction tagged in Sulu bombing
Westmincom chief Maj. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said the group is led by Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, whose members pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and are coddling foreign terrorists.

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — A faction of the Abu Sayyaf could be behind the bomb attack on a military camp in Sulu on Friday, according to Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief Maj. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana.

Sobejana said the group is led by Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, whose members pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and are coddling foreign terrorists.

The group of Sawadjaan was also tagged in the suicide bombing at Mount Carmel Cathedral in Jolo last December, which left 22 people dead and 101 wounded. 

Sobejana said the other faction is led by Radullan Sahiron.

“We condemn to the highest level this barbaric act of the terror group in Indanan, Sulu... It’s not only the soldiers who were hurt. Civilians living adjacent to the camp were also killed and wounded,” he said.

Sobejana, who arrived at the Westmincom office in this city from Sulu yesterday, said soldiers conducted ocular inspection and assessment at the First Brigade Combat Team command post in Barangay Tanjung, the target of the attack.


Sobejana said initial assessment showed that two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) could have been detonated remotely contrary to earlier reports of a suicide bombing. 

“We are checking the circumstances, we are validating the incident, we wanted to make sure if this was suicide bombing or an IED attack,” Sobejana said.

“It can also be that the perpetrators were carrying the bomb and somebody from a distance observed their actions and the actions of the soldiers and triggered remotely the IED,” he explained.

Sobejana said personnel of the police Scene of the Crime Operatives and Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit have yet to determine the type of bombs used.

Death toll

Meanwhile, the number of those killed and wounded in the bombing has increased.

The death toll rose from five to seven, including two civilians.

The number of those wounded increased from 11 to 22.  Another soldier was reported wounded aside from 10 civilians.

Government to pursue bombers

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said the government would pursue the perpetrators of the bomb attack. 

 “We will pursue them and all other terrorist groups that sow and instill fear among our people. We will run after them until they can run no more,” Panelo said.

“If these bandits have not learned from the terrorists who were annihilated in Marawi, this time they will,” he said.

Panelo said the government would not allow any group to stop its efforts to achieve lasting peace in Mindanao. – With Jaime Laude, Christina Mendez, John Unson



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