Security triumph: Key suspect captured in Daesh-linked Church bombing case

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MANILA, Philippines, Dec 9: A suspect associated with a militant group linked to Daesh has been apprehended in connection with the bombing of a Catholic Mass in the southern Philippines, as stated by a military commander on Saturday.

Handout photo of the suspect from Armed Forces of the Philippimes

The individual, identified as Jafar Gamo Sultan, was captured during an operation targeting four suspects believed to be responsible for the assault on worshippers in Marawi. Marawi, the largest Muslim city in the country, was previously besieged by militants in 2017.

Photo: Lanao del Sur Provincial Information Office / AFP

Last Sunday’s bombing, which was later claimed by Daesh, resulted in the death of four individuals and left 50 others wounded, according to Brig-Gen Yegor Rey Barroquillo. Surveillance footage indicated that Sultan, the alleged perpetrator, was seen carrying the explosive device concealed in a bag into the Mindanao State University gymnasium where worshippers had gathered for the service.

Barroquillo mentioned that a relative of Sultan, known as “Omar,” is also sought in connection with the attack. Sultan was apprehended during an operation on Wednesday, the same day when police identified two other suspects, Kadapi Mimbesa and Arsani Membisa. All four individuals, affiliated with the Dawlah Islamiyah-Maute group, are suspected to be part of a cell responsible for executing the attack, as stated by Barroquillo.

The military has characterized the bombing as a potential revenge attack linked to their previous operations against militant groups in the region. Decades-long unrest in the area has witnessed militant attacks on buses, Catholic churches, and public markets. While Manila signed a peace pact with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the largest rebel group, in 2014, smaller factions opposing the peace deal persist, including militants professing allegiance to Daesh. Additionally, communist rebels operate in the region.

This news has been read 1254 times!

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