RP Military Recovers Body Believed That Of Jemaah Bomber

February 20, 2008 at 5:44 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Feb. 19, 2008) – The Philippine military said it could have found the body of wanted Indonesian Jemaah Islamiya bomber, Dulmatin, tagged as behind the deadly 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 mostly tourists.
“We are awaiting DNA results to determine whether the body belongs to Dulmatin,” Major Eugene Batara, a spokesman of the Western Mindanao Command in Zamboanga City, told the Mindanao Examiner.
Dulmatin’s body, he said, was found on a shallow grave on Monday in a village in the town of Bato-Bato in Tawi-Tawi where troops previously clashed with the Abu Sayyaf, a local militant group that is believed to be protecting the Jemaah Islamiya bomber and other Indon militants hiding in the Sulu Archipelago.
In Zamboanga City, US and Philippine forensic experts took tissue samples from the body to determine whether the corpse was really Dulmatin. It would take at least a week before the results would be available, Batara said.
Troops clashed with the Abu Sayyaf on January 15 in Bato-Bato after a failed operation to rescue a kidnapped Muslim teacher, Omar Taup.Taup was seized by the Abu Sayyaf after raiding the Nortre Dame High School and killed a Catholic priest, Jesus Reynaldo Roda.
Batara said the body was buried in Zamboanga City on Tuesday. ‘If indeed it was Dulmatin, it really shows that we are winning the war against terrorism, not only in the Philippines, but also in the Southeast Asian region where the JI is operating,” he said.
The grave, he said, was discovered after the owner of the land reported to authorities that somebody had buried a cadaver. Batara said Dulmatin was wounded in a clash with government troops on January 31 in Lubbok village in Panglima Sugala town.
“From what we know, Dulmatin was wounded. He was shot in the body and probably wounded in the face and ankle,” Batara said.Aside from Dulmatin, the Philippine authorities said as many as 30 Jemaah Islamiya militants are hiding in the Sulu Archipelago, including another Bali bomber, Umar Patek.
At least 88 Australians were killed in the attacks.US troops are currently assisting the Philippine military forces in tracking down known leaders of the Abu Sayyaf and the Jemaah Islamiya in the southern region.
On Tuesday, US officials handed over several infrastructure projects to Sulu Gov. Sakur Tan and pledged more support top help Manila in peace and development efforts in the province, where hundreds of American soldiers are deployed and conducting joint medical mission with Filipino forces. (Mindanao Examiner)
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