CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has recorded a total of 83 deaths and 505 wounded as a result of ruthless bombings perpetrated by the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) since 2009 until August 2020.
Military records show that the ASG committed 47 incidents using improvised explosive devices (IEDs) throughout the period mostly in Sulu, Basilan and Zamboanga. These incidents killed 20 and wounded 70 from the AFP while 63 civilians lost their lives and 435 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,” AFP Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Gilbert I. Gapay said.
The most recent case was the two deadly explosions that occurred in Brgy. Walled City in Jolo, Sulu on 24 August 2020. This claimed the lives of 15 individuals and resulted to the injury of 74.
In 2019, six incidents occurred in Jolo, Indanan and Patikul towns all in the province of Sulu. These resulted to 31 deaths and 136 injured from both government forces and civilians.
The occurrences were relatively fewer in 2018 with three incidents in Basilan and Sulu that caused both AFP and civilians 10 deaths and 16 wounded. There were also lesser casualties in 2017 after 10 recorded explosions in the same provinces with three killed and seven wounded.
No IED detonation was recorded in 2016 and 2014 but the year 2015 marks the most number of wounded individuals. In that year, four different explosions were perpetrated by the ASG in Zamboanga City and Basilan that took the lives of 8 and injured 106 civilians.
In 2013, three bombing incidents transpired in Sulu and Basilan which resulted to three civilians wounded. In the same provinces in 2012, a total of four incidents occurred which resulted to two civilians killed and 13 injured.
The same provinces were also hit by 10 explosions in 2011 and 2010 which resulted to 9 killed and 84 wounded civilians. In 2009, the ASG conducted six detonations in Cotabato City, Datu Piang in Maguindanao and Jolo, Sulu which resulted to five killed and 65 wounded civilians, and one soldier who was wounded-in-action.
The Daesh-inspired terrorist group currently has 200 regular members with 212 high-powered firearms, and 147 identified supporters. They operate in areas in Sulu, Basilan, Tawi-Tawi and Zamboanga City affecting a total of 121 barangays.
“The AFP will never tolerate any attempt to sow terror and disrupt peace and development in our country. Under the provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Law, we will make sure that all efforts and capacities will be utilized to put an end to all terrorists and prevent them from inflicting further harm to the people whom we swore to protect with our lives,” Lt. Gen. Gapay said.