The military suspects that the twin attack is the work of the Abu Sayaf jihadist group, linked to the Islamic State. Last year a suicide bomber blew himself up in the city's cathedral. Southern Philippines wracked by clashes between the Security Forces and separatist rebels, some of which are jihadist. Msgr. Charlie Inzon: "End the violence".
Manila (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A twin bomb attack yesterday shook the southern island of Jolo, killing 15 people (eight soldiers and seven civilians, including an attacker) and wounding 75. First, a homemade bomb mounted on a motorcycle exploded; an hour later, a woman blew herself up near the area of the first blast.
So far there has been no claim, but the military suspects that both bombings are the work of Abu Sayaf, the Islamic extremist group originally linked to al-Qaeda and then to the Islamic State. It is also responsible for the suicide bombing of the Jolo Cathedral in January 2019, causing 20 deaths and more than 100 injured.
The Southern Philippines is mostly inhabited by Muslims, a minority in a majority Catholic country. For decades it has been the scene of clashes between the Security Forces and separatist rebels, some of which are of jihadist origin. Abu Sayaf is known in the news for brutality and for kidnappings for ransom, often of Western tourists.
According to some analysts, the terrorist act could be a retaliation for the arrest at the beginning of the month of a leader from Abu Sayaf on the island of Mindanao.
Bishop of Jolo, Msgr Charlie Inzon, condemned the incident, asking for prayers for the victims. He also launched an appeal to put an end to the violence in the country, which is already struggling with the tragedy of the pandemic, and urged the population to remain calm and alert.