MANILA, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Friday that a Moroccan terrorist allied with the Abu Sayyaf group was most likely behind the July 31 bomb attack that killed 11 in the southern Philippine Basilan province.
A powerful bomb exploded in a van on July 31 in the southern Philippines island of Basilan at a military checkpoint.
A government soldier, five militiamen, four civilians and the driver of the van were killed in that incident which Lorenzana called "a suicide bombing."
Citing military intelligence reports, Lorenzana said authorities are 80 percent certain that the lone bomber was the Moroccan. Operatives reportedly obtain a picture of purportedly the suspect with two children in tow in Sulu province.
Lorenzana said the bomb-laden van driven by the lone Moroccan terror suspect was intended to a planned "feeding program" in the city's plaza that will be participated in by 4,000 children.
"They (intelligence community) got pictures in Sulu of the foreign-looking guy with two children, allegedly these two are his sons. One of them died and the other was wounded," the defense chief told reporters.
Lorenzana did not disclose the circumstances behind the death and wounding of the children.
Asked if the Moroccan driver was the one killed in the van blast, Lorenzana said, "We don't know."
"Maybe he is that guy. Until such time that we have (concrete evidence), we'll have doubts if that's indeed him. But to me, it appears that descriptions point that he is the guy," Lorenzana added.
The military has earlier said that the van driver could not speak the local dialect, forcing the militiamen to communicate through sign language.
The Philippine military said earlier that the local terrorist group Abu Sayyaf Group had a hand in the blast.
The Abu Sayyaf Group has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and has carried out kidnappings for ransom of both foreigners and Filipinos.