Home News Town bombing kills nine, wounds dozens in Philippine south

Town bombing kills nine, wounds dozens in Philippine south

A bombing in a town on a restive southern Philippines island killed nine people and wounded dozens on Aug. 24, among them soldiers and civilians, the military said, with Islamist militants suspected of being behind the attack.

Two explosions believed to be homemade bombs were triggered within one hour of each other in the main urban center on the island of Jolo, a stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf, a militant group that has pledged allegiance to Islamic State.

The Catholic bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate of Jolo appealed for prayers as he condemned the explosions.

“We need prayers during this time,” said Bishop Charlie Inzon of Jolo.

The bishop also appealed for prayers for the victims of the explosion and implored the people of Jolo to remain calm and vigilant.

The explosions were the biggest attack in Jolo since January 2019, when twin suicide bombings during Sunday Mass at Jolo’s Catholic cathedral killed more than 20 people and wounded at least 100. Those explosions were claimed by the so-called Islamic State.

The first explosion on Aug. 24 happened a few minutes before noon followed by another about an hour later not far from the Catholic cathedral.

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The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines described the bomb attack as an “act of terrorism.”

The church leaders then called on Christians “to join hands with all peace-loving Muslim and indigenous people communities in the advocacy against violent extremism.”

A military report said one of the blasts was caused by a homemade bomb on a motorcycle.

Authorities later said the motive behind the attack was “retaliation” for the death of one of the leaders of the Abu Sayyaf the previous year.

Military spokesman Capt. Rex Payot said the blast damaged a food store, a computer shop, and two army trucks.

The Philippine military has been waging offensives against Abu Sayyaf.

One Abu Sayyaf leader Abduljihad Susukan, surrendered to authorities early this month after being wounded in a firefight. Susukan has been blamed for kidnappings and beheadings of hostages, including foreign tourists.

With Reuters

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