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2020 Jolo bombings

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2020 Jolo bombings
Part of the Moro conflict
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Location of Jolo in the Philippines
LocationJolo, Sulu, Bangsamoro, Philippines
Coordinates06°03′11″N 121°00′03″E / 6.05306°N 121.00083°E / 6.05306; 121.00083Coordinates: 06°03′11″N 121°00′03″E / 6.05306°N 121.00083°E / 6.05306; 121.00083
DateAugust 24, 2020 (2020-08-24)
11:55 (PhST (UTC+08:00))
Attack type
Bombing
Suicide bombing
WeaponsBomb
Deaths14 (+1 attacker)
Injured75

Template:Campaignbox South Philippines Insurgency The 2020 Jolo bombings occurred on August 24, 2020, when insurgents believed to be Abu Sayyaf jihadists detonated two bombs in Jolo, Sulu, Philippines, killing 14 people and wounding 75 others.[1] The first occurred as army personnel were assisting in carrying out COVID-19 humanitarian efforts.[2] The second, a suicide bombing, was carried out near the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral. The same cathedral was previously bombed in 2019, killing at least 20 people.[3]

Background[edit source | edit]

For over three decades, the Abu Sayyaf has been launching terrorist attacks in support of making the province of Sulu independent from the Philippines, as part of the Moro conflict. Sulu is primarily Muslim, whereas the Philippines as a whole is primarily Christian. In 2004, they launched the worst terrorist attack in Filipino history, bombing a ferry which killed 116 people. In 2016, they pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. They are known for using improvised explosive devices and for kidnapping foreigners for ransom, especially within Sulu province.[4]

In June 2020, four Filipino soldiers investigating the presence of two female suicide bombers in Sulu were shot dead by police during a confrontation. In August 2020, some days prior to the bombing, the Philippine government arrested a number of militants belonging to the Abu Sayyaf organization. Security forces on Sulu were on high alert due to fears of retribution.[2][5][6][7]

Attacks[edit source | edit]

On August 24, 2020, at 11:54 am, a motorcycle bomb placed next to a military truck detonated outside the Paradise Food Plaza in downtown Jolo, Sulu, killing six soldiers as well as some civilians. The police and military responded to the scene. An hour later, at 12:57 pm, a female suicide bomber approached the cordoned-off area and attempted to enter, but when she was stopped by a soldier, she detonated the bomb she carried, killing herself and the soldier who stopped her, while wounding six police officers. The second blast occurred approximately 100 metres away from the first blast, in front of a branch of the Development Bank of the Philippines. In total, seven soldiers, one police officer, and six civilians were killed; and 21 soldiers, six police officers, and 48 civilians were wounded. The site of the bombing was close to the site of the 2019 Jolo Cathedral bombings.[5][6][7][8]

Aftermath[edit source | edit]

The following day, the Islamic State – East Asia Province (also known as Abu Sayyef) claimed responsibility for the attack. The government believes that Abu Sayyaf bombmaker Mundi Sawadjaan created the bombs and armed the attackers. The entire municipality of Sulu was placed on lockdown following the blasts.[7][8][9]

Reactions[edit source | edit]

Immediately after the attacks, presidential spokesman Harry Roque condemned the bombings saying "authorities are now conducting an investigation, which includes identifying individuals or groups behind these dastardly attacks."[10] Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles condemned the attacks in "the strongest possible terms" and said that terrorism has "no place in a civilized world".[11] He also stated that he will bring justice to those behind the "inhuman attack".[11]

See also[edit source | edit]

References[edit source | edit]

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Template:Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Template:Militant Islamism in Southeast Asia Template:Moro conflict