A suicide bomber dressed in a traditional Muslim woman’s gown died after detonating a bomb outside a military camp in the restive southern Philippines, but no other casualties were reported, authorities said.
Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Western Mindanao Command, said the suicide bomber, described as a Caucasian, detonated a pipe-type bomb outside the main entrance to the KM3 Detachment of the 35th Infantry Battalion in Tagbak village in Indanan town around 5:48 p.m. on Sunday.
In General Santos City, authorities raised the security alert following the bomb attacks over the weekend at the public market in Isulan town in Sultan Kudarat and in a military camp in Indanan, Sulu.
Col. Eduardo Gubat, commander of the Army-led Joint Task Force GenSan, said Monday they beefed up the security measures in various public places and in all entry and exit points of the city.
In Zamboanga City, an official said an alert sentinel thwarted what appeared to be a “suicide bomb attackãƒ» at a military camp in Sulu.
Maj. Arvin John Encinas, Westmincom spokesman, said the incident, which happened around 5:45 p.m. on Sunday, resulted in the death of the female bomber.
Suicide attacks were once very rare in the Philippines, but since July 2018 there have been four, including the latest explosion on Jolo on Sunday.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for all three previous suicide attacks, which experts have previously told AFP is a worrying escalation of extremism in the Philippines under the group’s influence.
According to a military statement, the attacker on Sunday was “foreign-looking”, wore an abaya gown and appeared to be a woman. However, authorities had not confirmed the attacker’s gender.
No group has yet claimed the attack, which came a day after an IS-claimed bombing wounded eight at a market on the island of Mindanao.
Separatist groups in the Christian-majority nation’s south have waged decades-long insurgencies that have killed thousands.
This weekend’s attacks cast a shadow over a step toward a measure of peace in the region. The largest Muslim rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, began to lay down its weapons on Saturday.
While the MILF has brokered peace with the government, other more extreme factions like jihadist group Abu Sayyaf continue to stage deadly attacks. With Francisco Tuyay and PNA