Accessibility links

Philippine Military Finds Body Believed to Be Bali Bomber


The Philippine military says it has found what it believes to be the body of Dulmatin, an Indonesian militant wanted for the 2002 Bali bombings that killed more than 200 people. Douglas Bakshian reports from Manila.

The military says the body was found Monday on the southern island of Tawi Tawi after an informant led authorities to a remote jungle grave. Dulmatin was reportedly injured after a clash with the Philippine Marines on January 31, when they raided his hideout on the island.

Dulmatin is accused of being a member of the Indonesian Islamist group Jemaah Islamiyah. He is wanted for the 2002 bombings on the Indonesian resort island of Bali that killed more than 200 people - Asia's worst terrorist attack. The United States has offered a $10 million reward for his capture.

He fled in 2003 to the southern Philippines, where authorities say he has been working with Abu Sayyaf, a Philippine militant group.

Dulmatin is believed to have trained Filipino militants in bomb making. Marine General Nelson Allaga, of the Western Mindanao Command, says closing his case would be a major victory. "It's a good accomplishment for the armed forces if indeed it turns out that it's Dulmatin," said Allaga.

Tests to identify the body are under way, but could take at least a month. Authorities are using genetic samples taken from Dulmatin's children, who were found in a rebel hideout in the southern Philippines last year. Their mother was found earlier in the region. All have since been sent back to Indonesia.

Jemaah Islamiyah is accused of carrying out a series of bombings and other attacks in Indonesia. Although the attacks were largely aimed at foreign targets, such as hotels and restaurants, most of the victims have been Indonesian.

The Indonesian government has arrested more than 200 suspected JI militants. Scores have been convicted in court trials. As a result of the crackdown, the group has not tried to launch any major attacks for the past few years.

Foreign Islamic militants, including members of Jemaah Islamiyah, have been active in the southern Philippines, where the military has fought a four-decade struggle with Muslim insurgents. Most people in the country are Christians, but a Muslim minority is concentrated in the south.

Editor's note: In a separate development, the Philippine military says it has arrested an Indonesian man accused of involvement in the deadly 2006 bombings in the southern Philippines. Authorities say they captured Mohamad Baehaqi in the south of the country on Sunday. Baehaqi is thought to be a member of the Indonesia-based Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist group.

XS
SM
MD
LG