Five soldiers, a policeman and four civilians were killed and dozens more were injured in the double attack that hit the city of Jolo on Monday. The predominantly Muslim island is the fortress of the Islamist group Abou Sayyaf.
It is a homemade bomb attached to a motorcycle that exploded in the middle of the day, Monday, August 24, near a supermarket in the city of Jolo in the Philippines. Five soldiers and four civilians were killed, according to General Corleto Vinluan. Sixteen soldiers were also injured, as well as about twenty civilians, according to Lieutenant Colonel Ronaldo Mateo, referring to the city’s mayor.
A soldier saw a person park his motorcycle near this grocery store “where there were many people”, including military members, Ronaldo Mateo said. The device exploded almost immediately.
After the police evacuated the area, a suicide bomber activated her explosive belt on the same street. The blast left one dead and six injured, police, according to General Vinluan.
A soldier was about to check on this woman when she blew herself up, he added.
Duterte condemns “contemptuous attacks”
The predominantly Muslim island of Jolo is the bastion of the Islamist group Abu Sayyaf, which is considered a terrorist organization by Washington and which has been divided into several factions, some of which have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State organization. This group is “probably responsible for the double attack,” said Colonel Mateo, Abu Sayyaf, who specializes in heavy killings.
These attacks took place a few weeks after the arrest of one of the leaders of this organization, Abduljihad Susukan, on the island of Mindanao. Security forces had since feared retaliation from Abu Sayyaf. Abduljihad Susukan is charged with 23 murders, five kidnappings and six attempted murders.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte spokesman Harry Roque condemned “severe attacks.”
“We urge the residents of Jolo to be vigilant and warn the security forces if they discover people with suspicious behavior or abandoned objects in their area,” he said.