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02/01/2019 Philippines (International Christian Concern) – The Philippine government continues its investigation on the Joko bombings which took place last Sunday, taking more than 20 lives and wounded 111.

Contrary to what was revealed by the military earlier, President Duterte said on Tuesday that two suicide bombers from the armed Abu Sayyaf group were responsible for the blasts that hit a Catholic church in Jolo. The original suspect seen in two surveillance camera videos has already reported to the authorities. It turned out that he is just a high school student, rather than the brother of Abu Sayyaf group leader.

The intel now also suggests that foreign fighters might be involved. Indonesians and Yemenis are two possibilities, but the police are conducting DNA test to unidentified bodies in order to learn more about their origin.

Three days after the Jolo bombing, a mosque in Zamboanga was hit by deadly grenade attack. Before dawn on Wednesday, as dozens of Muslim religious teachers were resting in the mosque, a grenade was lobbed inside, killing two and injuring four. So far no one has claimed responsibility.

These incidents follow a successful and peaceful January 21 referendum that overwhelmingly approved autonomy for the estimated five million inhabitants of predominantly Muslim parts of Mindanao, except Jolo.

One possible motive for the attack on the cathedral is that Abu Sayyaf has been excluded from the current peace process, whereas the attack on the mosque might be retaliatory.

For interviews with Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: