Inquirer.net/Asia News Network
Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for the two powerful bomb explosions that killed 15 people and wounded 75 more – many of them civilians – on Jolo island in Sulu on Monday.
Shortly after the blasts that were blamed on Abu Sayyaf in Jolo, Sulu, SITE Intelligence, a U.S.-based group that monitors online communications among Muslim militant groups, reported that the IS East Asia province had issued a statement claiming responsibility for the attacks.
The SITE also cited IS supporters across the globe rejoicing over the casualties as a result of the bombings.
Six civilians, seven soldiers, and a police officer were killed in the blasts that went off in a busy street of Jolo on Sunday, while 75 other people – including at least 48 civilians, 21 soldiers, and six police officers – were injured.
One of the fatalities, according to the military, was the “suicide bomber” who set off the secondary bomb an hour after the first blast.
Rommel Banlaoi, head of the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research, said the female militant was an Indonesian national.
“We suspect the female bomber was the daughter of the suicide bomber who perpetrated the Jolo cathedral bombing last year,” Banlaoi told a local radio station.
“The Cathedral bombing happened recently, and they are very familiar with the area. They’d known when to launch the attack,” he added.
The twin blast occurred just a few meters away from a Catholic church where suicide bombers detonated bombs in January last year, killing 23 people.