Joint Task Force Sulu spokesman Captain Rex Payot said military forces were assisting local government officials in their COVID-19 response efforts when the blast happened.

Police Regional Office – Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao chief Police Brigadier General Manuel Abu told GMA News Online that the incident happened in Barangay Walled City at 11:40 a.m.

Abu Sayyaf behind the blasts

Mateo expressed belief that the local terror Abu Sayyaf Group was behind the attacks, especially that leader Anduljihad “Idang” Susukan was arrested by authorities early this month.

“Most probably ang terroristic act na ito is being perpetrated by the Abu Sayyaf group,” Mateo said. “‘Yan pa ‘yung tinitingnan namin. We cannot still establish kung retaliatory ba nila ‘yan.”

According to Armed Forces spokesman Major General Edgard Arevalo, the 11th Infantry Division and the Joint Task Force Sulu are on high alert following the incident.

Arevalo also appealed to the public to stay calm but be vigilant to monitor any suspicious individuals in the area.

Meanwhile, Philippine National Police chief Police General Archie Francisco Gamboa ordered an immediate investigation on the incident to catch the perpetrators. (MNS)

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