From 2009 to date, ASG killed 83 and wounded 505 their bombing activities
Abu Sayyaf toll: 83 deaths, 505 wounded in bombings since 2009
MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) listed a total of 83 deaths and 505 wounded with the bombings carried out by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) from 2009 to August this year.
In a statement released today, the AFP said the ASG were responsible for 47 incidents which included the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Sulu, Basilan and Zamboanga. Twenty (20) soldiers were killed and wounded 70 others while 63 civilians also known as non-combatants died and 435 were wounded.
“The Armed Forces of the Philippines sees a greater urgency to toughen the country’s drive against terrorism due to the rising terror threats by the Abu Sayyaf Group and other local terrorists. Recent acts of violent extremism have already claimed innocent lives of both civilians and military personnel,” said Lt. General Gilbert I. Gapay, AFP chief of staff.
It will be recalled tow deadly explosions took place in Barangay Walled City in Jolo, Sulu last August 24 which resulted in the deaths of 15 individuals and injuries to 74 others. Two suicide bombers died in the process.
Last year, six bombings took place in Jolo, Indanan and Patikul towns in Sulu which killed 31 and injured 136 others from government personnel and civilians.
The incidents were considered fewer in 2018 with three explosions in Basilan and Sulu where the AFP and civilian population suffered 10 deaths and 16 wounded. There were also lesser casualties in 2017 after 10 recorded explosions in the same area with three fatalities and seven others wounded.
There were no IED-triggered explosions in 2016 and 2014 but the year 2015 marked the most number of wounded persons. According to the AFP statement, four different explosions took place in Zamboanga City and Basilan by the Abu Sayyaf Group where eight people died and injured 106 persons.
There were three bombings in Sulu and Basilan in 2013 where three civilians were wounded. In Sulu and Basilan provinces, four explosions took place where two civilians died and 13 others injured.
There were ten blasts in Sulu and Basilan in 2011 and 2010 where nine people died and 84 civilians were wounded. The Abu Sayyaf Group made ttheir presence felt in Cotabato City and Datu Piang in Maguindanao Province and Jolo, Sulu. Five persons were killed and 65 were wounded. A soldier was wounded-in-action.
Military sources said the Daesh-inspired terrorist group has about 200 regular members armed with 212 high-powered firearms and 147 identified supporters. They consider Sulu, Basilan, Tawi-Tawi and Zamboanga City as their base. They are in 121 villages or barangays.
Lt. General Gapay said they will never tolerate any attempt to terrorize and disrupt the peace and development in the Philippines. He said with the latest Anti-Terror Law, they will be able to end the terrorists’ efforts and capacity to harm more people.
General Gilbert I. Gapay, AFP Chief of Staff. (Photo courtesy of Col. Demy Zagala)