Soldiers from the southern Philippines foiled exactly what the military said on Wednesday was an attempted suicide bombing in a metropolitan area, the most up-to-date in a string of attacks blamed on a group tasked with Islamic State.
Troops manning a checkpoint on the island of Jolo participated in a brief gunfight with three guys on a bike late on Tuesday afternoon.
The intended goal was a metropolitan region of Jolo, the island’s capital, and also among those guys were Egyptian, the regional armed forces control said in a statement.
Another person was Filipino and also a part of Abu Sayyaf, a group that has vowed allegiance to Islamic State and is notorious for piracy and also for kidnapping foreigners.
The episode would have been the fifth tried suicide bombing in the southern Philippines in the previous 16 months. Such strikes were unheard of decades of separatist unrest and lawlessness which has given rise to Islamist sentiments.
It marked a menacing twist in the Philippines’ struggle to include militant groups motivated by Islamic State who’ve been united by fighters in Malaysia and Indonesia, such as in a brazen assault and five-month job of Marawi City at 2017.
The suicide attacks were in the Sulu archipelago, Abu Sayyaf’s stronghold, and so were claimed by Islamic State.
They comprised a twin bombing of a church in January that killed 21 people, a van bomb at a checkpoint at July 2018 that murdered 11, a suicide attack by 2 youths that murdered eight in June, along with a female who prematurely detonated a bomb she was carrying close a military detachment at September.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has pledged to wipe out Abu Sayyaf and has intensified military operations within its strongholds, even though bombings targeting civilians and the army have continued unabated.