Abu Sayyaf gunmen kill 21 in Sulu attack
ZAMBOANGA CITY – The celebration of Eidl Fitr, the end of the monthlong Ramadan fast among Muslims, turned into a bloodbath on Monday when Abu Sayyaf bandits fired on two passenger jeepneys, killing 21 persons and wounding 11 others in the municipality of Talipao in Sulu Monday morning, the authorities said.
The military and the police initially reported that 18 people were killed, but Capt. Maria Rowena Muyuela, spokesperson of the military’s Western Mindanao Command, said later Monday afternoon that “21 were killed and 11 wounded as of this time.”
No additional details were immediately available.
Muyuela said earlier that about 50 armed men led by Abu Sayyaf leaders Idang Susukan and Sibih Pisih ambushed two Tamarraw-type jeepneys with at least 50 passengers aboard in the village of Lumapid at 8:30 a.m.
Dr. Raden Ikbala of the Integrated Provincial Health Office in Sulu said those killed “were men and followers of Talipao Vice Mayor Tambrin Tulawie.”
“The attack was perpetrated by the Abu Sayyaf after the victims performed their Eid prayers,” Ikbala told the Inquirer by phone.
Muyuela said the attack could have been “retaliatory action against the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT) for providing support and assistance to the military and police operation.”
At least 10 BPAT members were in the vehicles attacked.
Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao was angered by the attack.
“I strongly condemn this senseless act, especially that it happened on the day Muslims culminate the end of the month-long fast and celebrate the Eidl Fitr,” Hataman said.
“I have directed our security forces in Sulu to investigate the incident and make sure that those behind the incident suffer the consequence and face the bar of justice,” Hataman told the Inquirer in a telephone interview.
Originally posted at 2:33 pm | Monday, July 28, 2014
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