The country’s forces have captured a suspected Indonesian would-be female suicide bomber who the army believes was part of a “very imminent” plot to attack a southern town, officials said.
Army troops and police arrested Rezky Fantasya Rullie with two Filipino women, who were suspected to be the wives of Abu Sayyaf militants, in a house in southern Jolo town in Sulu province, the military’s Western Mindanao Command said yesterday.
An explosive vest and bomb components were found in the house.
The military also announced that Rullie’s husband Andi Baso, who is wanted in the Philippines and Indonesia for his alleged involvement in bomb attacks, had been killed in an Aug 29 clash near Sulu’s Patikul town.
Philippine troops have intensified a manhunt for would-be bombers in the restive south following nearly simultaneous suicide attacks by two women militants that killed 15 people and wounded 75 others in August in Jolo town in the country’s worst extremist attack this year.The two women who carried out the Aug 24 suicide attacks In Jolo were the wives of Abu Sayyaf militants who had died, reflecting how extremism has involved families in some cases.
“It has become a family affair for a few who have allowed themselves to be wrongly indoctrinated,” said army chief Lt Gen Cirilito Sobejana.
At least eight other foreign militants in Sulu and southern Maguindanao province were being hunted by government forces.
They included militants from Indonesia and Egypt, Sobejana said.
Rullie was involved in a “very imminent” plot to carry out a suicide attack in Jolo before her arrest, Sobejana said, adding that Indonesian authorities were aware of Philippine efforts to locate and capture Indonesian militants in the southern Philippines.
Rullie’s parents were a militant couple who authorities said staged a suicide attack that killed more than 20 people and wounded more than 100 others during Sunday Mass at the Jolo cathedral in Sulu last year, said the military. — AP
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