Sulu explosions

Abu Sayyaf ‘only group capable’ of Jolo twin bombings – AFP

Rambo Talabong

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Abu Sayyaf ‘only group capable’ of Jolo twin bombings – AFP

Courtesy of Philippine National Police

The female suicide bomber is suspected to have links to Abu Sayyaf bomber Mundi Sawadjaan

So far, the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) is the only group suspected to be behind the Jolo, Sulu twin bombings that killed at least 14 and wounded at least 75 on Monday, August 25.

In an interview with dzMM, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Joint Task Force (JTF) Sulu Commander Brigadier General William Gonzales said ASG is “the only group” capable of mounting such an attack.

Ito lang ang may capacity gumawa nito…. Ito lang naman ang terrorist group dito (They are the only group with the capacity to do this…. They are the only terrorist group here),” Gonzales said.

Of the two explosions, the second is caused by a female suicide bomber with suspected links to Abu Sayyaf bomber Mundi Sawadjaan, nephew of Abu Sayyaf sub-leader and Islamic State (ISIS) head in the Philippines Hajan Sawadjaan, said Philippine Army 11th Infantry Division civil-military relations officer Lieutenant Colonel Ronaldo Mateo on Monday.

Sulu is also a stronghold of the ASG, a proscribed terrorist group with factions linked to the Islamic State or ISIS international terror network. The group has been involved in bombings and kidnappings in southern Philippines since 1989.

No group has claimed the twin bombings. – with a report from Nikko Dizon and JC Gotinga/

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.