Philippine defense chief voices concern over suicide bombings in Philippines

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-01 21:45:19|Editor: Wu Qin
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MANILA, July 1 (Xinhua) -- Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana voiced concern on Monday over the frequency of suicide bomb attacks in the Philippines.

Lorenzana said the twin bombing attacks, committed in broad daylight at an army camp in Indanan, a town in Sulu province in the southern Philippines Friday last week, was "obviously a suicide bombing" and has raised the level of extremism in the Philippines.

The twin attacks, carried out by two motorcycle riding suicide bombers, left seven killed, including three soldiers, and 22 others injured.

Lorenzana said the incident was the third suicide attack in the Philippines. "This is the third one so it's becoming an occurrence and we are very much concerned about this," he said.

The first suicide bomb attack was recorded on July 31, 2018 when a powerful bomb exploded in a van the troops were inspecting at a military checkpoint in Lamitan, a city in the island province of Basilan. A soldier, five militiamen, four villagers and the driver of the van were killed in that incident.

Lorenzana said at the time that the bomb-laden van driven by the lone Moroccan terror suspect was intended for a planned "feeding program" in the city's plaza that will be participated in by 4,000 children.

The second suicide bombing attack happened on Jan. 27 this year. At least 27 people were killed and many more injured as a result of the bomb attacks at a Roman Catholic cathedral on the remote Jolo Island in Sulu province. Authorities said Indonesian suicide bombers carried out that attack.

"I believe this (the June 28 bombings) has changed, this has raised the level of extremism here and I think we have a lot of work to do," Lorenzana said.

On the reports that the Islamic State militants have claimed responsibility for the June 28 attacks in Indanan, Sulu, Lorenzana said the military is checking that information, including reports that the attacks were again carried out by Indonesians.

Nevertheless, Lorenzana stressed the need to be vigilant. "Well, all we have to do is very watchful and be very vigilant. Hopefully, they will not attack Manila or any other urban centers in the Philippines," he said.