Philippines: Twin explosions hit Jolo, killing at least 14

Twin explosions have ripped through a town in a restive region of the southern Philippines, killing at least 14 people and wounding 75.

Military officials said two bombs went off within an hour of each other in Jolo, Sulu province, on Monday.

They suspect the bombings were carried out by militant Islamists linked to the Abu Sayyaf group.

A spokesman for President Rodrigo Duterte condemned the attacks, the worst the country has seen this year.

“Authorities are now conducting an investigation, which includes identifying individuals or groups behind these dastardly attacks,” Harry Roque said.

No-one has yet taken responsibility for the explosions. But the southern Philippines have seen a surge in Islamist militancy in recent years and has a long history of separatist violence.

Abu Sayyaf is one of the smallest and most violent jihadist groups in the southern Philippines, known for its kidnap-for-ransom activity and its brutality, including beheadings.

Listed by the US as a terrorist organisation, the group has pledged allegiance to so-called Islamic State, and has carried out kidnappings of both foreigners and Filipinos.

Monday’s bombings come after the arrest earlier this month of an Abu Sayyaf leader on the southern island of Mindanao.

Security forces had been on alert for possible reprisal attacks.

How did the bombings unfold?

The military said the first explosion happened at around midday (05:00 GMT) on a busy street in Jolo, the capital…

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