A Filipino military spokesman announced on Wednesday, January 30, that the military conducted airstrikes on Jolo island (Sulu province) on Tuesday, January 29, in response to a church bombing that killed at least 22 people. Tuesday's raid reportedly targeted a subgroup of the Abu Sayyaf terrorist organization, the alleged perpetrators of the bombing, though a key suspect escaped. Further military operations are expected in the coming days and weeks in Sulu, particularly on the island of Jolo.
A twin bombing at a cathedral in Jolo (Sulu province) on Sunday, January 27, killed at least 22 people and wounded more than 100 others. The bombing came days after residents in the southern Philippines, including Sulu, voted to create the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), part of a peace process aimed at ending the conflict with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) militants.
Abu Sayyaf is an Islamic State-affiliated jihadist militant group operating primarily in the southern Philippines. The group's criminal and terrorist activities include kidnappings, bombings, and beheadings in western Mindanao. Its main theaters of activity are the island provinces of Basilan and Sulu.
Individuals in Sulu are advised to monitor developments to the situation, remain vigilant for militant and terrorist activity, and anticipate ongoing military operations in the area.
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