US Senate vows to back anti-terror efforts after Jolo blast

US Senate vows to back anti-terror efforts after Jolo blast

MANILA – Several American senators on Tuesday vowed to support the cooperation between Manila and Washington on counterterrorism in the wake of the bombings in Jolo, Sulu that killed 14 and injured nearly 80 on Monday.

US Senators Jim Risch and Bob Menendez of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, along with Senators Jim Inhofe and Jack Reed of the Senate Armed Services Committee sent condolences to the kin of those killed in the twin attacks reportedly carried out by two Abu Sayyaf Group suicide bombers.

“We extend our sincere condolences and a strong message of support to the Philippines and its people in the wake of the bombings on Jolo Island. We stand ready to support continued close cooperation on counterterrorism between our two militaries,” they said in a joint statement. “This cooperation is vital to the freedom, security, and prosperity of the United States and the Philippines.”

In Manila, US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim also condoled with the bereaved families as he deplored the terror attack.

“I offer my sincerest condolences to the families and friends of the victims of yesterday’s bombings in Jolo. We join the Philippine government in condemning these attacks and will continue to support our Filipino partners to strengthen national security,” Kim said in a tweet.

The Philippine Army believes that the Monday Jolo bombings were carried out by two female suicide bombers motivated by Abu Sayyaf leader Mundi Sawadjaan.

Another motive is that these female bombers could be widows of terrorists who were earlier killed or neutralized by government forces.

‘In solidarity’

Aside from Washington, the European Union (EU) and other countries also joined the Philippines in denouncing the act that resulted in multiple Philippine military and civilian casualties.

“We wish all those injured a quick and full recovery. We stand with the Philippines authorities in condemning these attacks. We all stand united against the scourge of terrorism,” the EU said in a statement.

The Chinese embassy in Manila extended a similar message, saying it was “deeply shocked” and “saddened” by the news.

“We join the Philippine government in condemning the attacks, and express sincere condolences to the injured and the bereaved families and wish a speedy recovery to those injured. At this moment of grief, our hearts are with the Philippine government and people,” it said.

Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev, on the other hand, hoped that the perpetrators behind the dastardly attack be brought to justice soon.

“I strongly condemn the horrible terror attack that occurred in Jolo, Sulu, and express my heartfelt sympathy to the injured and their families. I expect that the perpetrators of this crime will sustain the punishment they deserve,” he said.

Meanwhile, British Ambassador to the Philippines Daniel Pruce said he stands behind the kin of the blast victims as he underscored the United Kingdom’s firm position against terrorism.

“My thoughts are with the loved ones of the innocent victims of the Jolo blasts. The UK condemns all acts of terrorism,” he said. (PNA)

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