Philippines: Foreign-looking militant dies in suicide attack

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A foreign-looking militant was killed in a suicide bombing attack on Sunday on a military detachment that failed to inflict any other deaths or injuries in the southern Philippines, military officials said.

The suicide attacker, who wore a traditional black Muslim woman’s gown, tried but failed to enter a detachment in Sulu province’s Indanan town and died when a bomb the militant was carrying exploded. It was the third known suicide attack in Sulu this year.


Regional military chief Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said the bomber failed to enter the detachment due to tight security.

A military spokesman in Sulu, Lt. Col. Gerard Monfort, said by phone that troops took cover and assumed combat positions, some behind sand bags, when the militant refused to step away from the outpost’s gate and carried something that bulged in the bomber’s gown.

“A wary soldier yelled at the militant to ‘go away, go away’ and other soldiers who heard him took cover and assumed combat positions,” Monfort said. “Then an explosion killed the militant.”

The blast damaged the detachment’s gate but did not cause any other deaths or injuries, Monfort said, adding that there were no civilians in the rural area at the time.

It was the third known suicide bombing this year by militants linked to ISIS, a terrorist group in Sulu, including a deadly Jan. 27 bombing by an Indonesian militant couple in a Roman Catholic cathedral in the predominantly Muslim province.

All the suicide attacks were blamed by the military on the Abu Sayyaf, a small but brutal group that has been the target of ongoing military offensives. The Abu Sayyaf has been blacklisted by the US and the Philippines as a terrorist organization.

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