Multiple Explosions

Aug 25, 2020

During the early afternoon of 24 August 2020, multiple explosions occurred in Barangay Walled City in Jolo municipality, the capital of Sulu province. The first blast occurred at approximately 1150 local time (0350 UTC) when an improvised explosive device (IED) attached to a motorcycle exploded near a military vehicle parked in front of a food shop on Serantes Street. The second blast occurred at approximately 1300 local time in an adjacent area, located about 100 m (330 ft) from the first explosion site, when a suspected suicide bomber detonated explosives on Buyon Road between the Jolo Cathedral and the Development Bank of the Philippines. Police and military bomb technicians were deployed across Jolo to search for any additional explosive devices — one unexploded bomb was reportedly discovered in a public market. At least 14 people, including seven soldiers, were killed in the explosions, and 75 more were wounded.

In addition, the Philippine Coast Guard placed the provinces of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and Zamboanga under red alert status, which grants security forces additional authority to impose strict security protocols, including checkpoints, movement restrictions and other public safety measures. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack; however, the Abu Sayyaf Islamist militant group remains active in Sulu province and the surrounding areas. The group has perpetrated similar attacks in the past, including a dual bombing of the Jolo Cathedral — located near the blast sites — in January 2019, which killed 20 people and wounded 100 others.

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