Five rebels who helped carry out the deadly bombing of a Catholic cathedral in the southern Philippines last month surrendered to the authorities at the weekend, the national chief of police announced on Monday.
Kamah Pae and four other members of Ajang Ajang, a sub-group of the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group, took part in the January 27 bombing in Jolo town, Sulu province in which 22 people were killed, Oscar Albayalde told reporters.
‘The five surrendered due to the massive hot pursuit operations,’ Albayalde said, referring to the operations launched against the rebels following the bombings.
He said the five belonged to a group of 22 Abu Sayyaf members who conspired to carry out the attack and would be charged with murder.
Fourteen suspects, including the mastermind, identified only as Sawadjaan, were still being hunted while three others, including two suicide bombers, had been killed, he said.
Kamah, the brother of a now dead rebel leader, had not yet admitted involvement but his companions said he had escorted the suicide bombers, suspected to be an Indonesian couple who are still unidentified, Albayalde said.
‘It is believed that the Indonesian woman detonated the first IED (improvised explosive device) inside Jolo Cathedral while the man detonated the second IED at the church entrance seconds later,’ he said.
In an earlier raid on Kamah's house, government forces found explosive devices and components, the police chief said.
The ‘act of terror’ took nearly a year of planning and was carried out to attract funds from Islamic State, he said.
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