Twin blasts kill 11, hurt 40 in Jolo

August 24, 2020
Dead bodies
The bodies of victims (C) lie on the pavement as police and military personnel cordon off the site where an improvised bomb exploded next to a military vehicle in the town of Jolo on Sulu island on August 24, 2020. At least 10 people were killed and dozens wounded -- many of them soldiers or police -- in a twin bombing on August 24 on a southern Philippine island that is a stronghold of Islamist militants, officials said. Nickee BUTLANGAN / AFP

TWO powerful improvised explosive devices rocked Jolo, Sulu yesterday afternoon killing six soldiers and five civilians and wounding more than 40 others.

Four soldiers who were patrolling the area died on the spot.

Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command chief Major General Corleto Vinluan said Mundi Sawadjaan, a known Abu Sayyaf member, could be behind  the blasts.

“Ang may pakana lang talaga diyan si Mundi Sawadjaan. Actually siya na rin ‘yung mastermind sa bombing doon sa Cathedral, sa Indanan. Siya na, wala nang iba. Wala nang ibang capable na mag-execute niyan kung hindi siya lang,” Vinluan said.

The first explosion was triggered by an IED attached to a motorcycle parked in the area.

It occured at Syntax Computer Shop on Serrante Street, Barangay Walled City around 11:45 a.m.

“The  blast resulted to the wounding of an unidentified number of civilians and military personnel. Two members of the Armed Forces were noticed lying dead at the blast site including a damaged 6X6 truck and another vehicle of the AFP,” the ARMM police said.

The second explosion  was recorded at 1 p.m. in front of  the  branch of the Development Bank of the Philippines or 100 meters away from the first blast.

Philippine National Police chief General Archie Gamboa ordered Police Regional OfficeBangsamoro Autonomous Region chief Brig. Gen. Manuel Abu  to secure the place.

Abu said  elements from a Philippine National Police Scene-of-the-Crime Operations (SOCO) team were processing the first blast scene when the  second explosion occurred.

Another soldier, a boy and a woman died in the second blast.

Abu said  PNP explosives and ordnance disposal teams backed up by military bomb disposal experts rushed to the site to sweep the area for the presence of more IEDs.

The area was placed under lockdown to arrest the suspects behind the bombings.

“Members of the Jolo Municipal Police Station are still gathering information pertaining to the victims and are processing the scene of the explosion,” the official said.

With Zaida delos Reyes