MANILA — A bombing attempt in Jolo, Sulu was prevented after a concerned netizen reported an improvised explosive device (IED) made allegedly by a local terrorist, the military said Friday.
The IED, which was sealed with coconut leaves, is believed to be made by Abu Sayyaf Group member Mundi Sawadjaan, the person the military said was behind the 2019 Jolo Cathedral bombing.
“The IED... was composed of a mortar cartridge, 90RR projectile heat, 5 liters of Ammonium-Nitrate/Fuel-oil, battery and an improvised blasting cap was emplaced near a barangay road which could have hurt innocent civilians within 20-meter radius,” the Joint Task Force (JTF) Sulu said.
Col. Antonio Bautista, 1101st Infantry Brigade commander, went to Brgy. Timbangan in Indanan Friday afternoon to verify the report’s accuracy, the statement added.
JTF Sulu Commander Maj. Gen. William Gonzales said the Abu Sayyaf Group was “obviously frustrated by the series of their losses” which led them to resort to violent extremism such as bombing.
Bautista said they are still tailing the local terrorist group.
"We are continuously tracking the ASG, with the consolidated efforts of all units and the full support from the civilian populace who provide timely and accurate information of ASG's whereabouts and activities,” he said.
In August, twin explosions rocked Sulu plaza that left at least 15 people dead and over 70 injured. Law enforcement authorities suspect that the Abu Sayyaf masterminded the bombings.
One of ASG's sub-leaders was killed by the military late September. Government forces said the sub-leader was a cousin of the mastermind behind the twin bombings.
Earlier this month, an Indonesian tagged as a suicide bomber and wives of 2 Abu Sayyaf members were arrested in an operation in Jolo.