Suicide bomber who attacked Army base confirmed as Filipino citizen

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Filipino suicide bomber Norman Lasuca sits with his mother Vilman. Army photograph.

A suicide bomber who attacked an army base on Sulu Island last month has been confirmed as a Filipino citizen — the nation’s first.

Police and military officials made the announcement today (Wednesday, July 10) following the attack on the tactical command post of the 1st Brigade Combat Team (1BCT) on June 28.

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“After thorough investigation and forensic examination, the Regional Crime Laboratory Office of the Police Regional Office 11 has revealed that one of the suspected suicide bombers in 1st Brigade Combat Team temporary headquarters in Indanan, Sulu last June 28 can be concluded as a Filipino,” police spokesman, Colonel Bernard Banac and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman, Marine Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo said in a joint statement.

The investigators came to the conclusion after taking DNA samples from the suspect’s mother and brother. This revealed a 99.99 percentage probability match on DNA samples taken from the suicide bomber, who has been identified as Norman Lasuca.

The identification of the second bomber is still underway as the Army and police continue to collect DNA samples from possible relatives of the suspected Abu Sayyaf terrorist.

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In line with President Duterte’s order to crush the Islamic State-affiliated  terror group, the Army has deployed a Marine Battalion Landing Team, and another Army Infantry Battalion in Sulu.

This is aside from additional Naval and Air assets to be deployed in the province.

“We vigorously continue our collaboration and information sharing with our counterpart nations like Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia and the United States to name a few, to harness our conduct of operations,” Brig. Gen. Arevalo said.

“Against this backdrop, we Filipinos should unite in this fight against terrorism. This drive to protect our nation, our families, and our posterity from the ugly deadly face and outcome of terrorism is everybody’s concern,” he added.

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