Bombings in Philippines and Indonesia

This item appears on page 17 of the September 2009 issue.

In the southern Philippines, 12 people died and more than 90 were wounded in bomb blasts in July.

A cathedral in Cotabato, Mindanao, was hit on July 5; a bomb went off near a gas station on Jolo on July 7, and a third blast occurred two hours later in Iligan on Mindanao. Since January, there have been more than 50 bombings in the Sulu Archipelago, most linked to Islamist extremists demanding an independent homeland.

In Jakarta, Indonesia, two suicide bombers carried out coordinated bombings on the JW Marriot Hotel and the adjacent Ritz-Carlton on July 17. Six people and the two bombers died and more than 50 people were wounded. An unexploded bomb was found in a room in the Marriott where the suspects were staying.

The Philippines’ national security chief said the bombs used in the July attacks in The Philippines and Indonesia were similar in construction; the governments of both countries are sharing information. The Islamist terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah is suspected in the attacks and is thought to be responsible for a car bombing of the same Marriott in August 2003 as well as the 2002 Bali nightclub bombing.