Indonesian police: couple behind church bombing in Philippines hinh anh 1On the scene of bomb attack in Yolo on January 27 (Source: VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) Indonesian police announced on July 23 that a married Indonesian couple was behind a suicide bombing of a Catholic church in the Philippines in January that killed 22 people and injured more than 100 others.

Speaking at a press conference, National Police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo said that a man identified as Yoga Febrianto, who was arrested in Malaysia last month, identified the husband as Rullie Rian Zeke and the wife as Ulfah Handayani Saleh.

According to police, Yoga and the couple he recruited for the bombing were part of Jemaah Anshorut Daulah, a banned Islamic extremist organization in Indonesia that allies itself with the Islamic State group. Yoga also had contacts with IS militants in Afghanistan.

Prasetyo said Zeke and Saleh had previously failed in an attempt to reach Syria with their children, and after returning to Indonesia underwent a government deradicalization programme before being released.

The Indonesians' involvement in the cathedral attack was initially suspected from the interrogations of five militants caught by authorities in the Philippines after the bombings, Prasetyo said.

The couple's alleged role in the bombing of the Roman Catholic cathedral in Jolo highlights links between militants across Southeast Asia.-VNA