It's well-known and has been widely reported that on Monday, May 22, a deadly bombing struck an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, leaving 22 people dead and many more injured. Within 72 hours of the Manchester incident, three other violent attacks and situations arose in Southeast Asia.
On May 22, a hospital in Thailand saw 24 wounded in the wake of another bombing. While the bombing was likely not in connection with any of the Muslim separatist groups in Thailand, the event signifies possible instability under Thai military rule.
The next day, Marawi City of the southern region of the Philippines filled with the sound of gunfire from shots exchanged between Philippine security forces and militants linked to the Islamic State group. 11 soldiers have been killed so far. The Associated Press reported that a priest and several churchgoers were taken hostage in the beseiged city. Shortly after the situation erupted, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines declared martial law for the entirety of the island of Mindanao, which includes Marawi City. Philippine authorities say the situation is under control, but plenty of tweets, posts and even articles claiming that the Philippine government is severely downplaying the situation in Marawi. A Philippine Star article states that "the Philippine government issued conflicting statements over the situation of Marawi City, painting a confusing picture after a clash between government troops and a local terror group".
Two suicide bombers targeted a bus station in Jakarta on Wednesday, killing three police officers. Six officers and five civilians were injured. Three suspects have been arrested in connection with the attack. It's believed that the Islamic State was behind the attack, as many of the attacks in Indonesia have been backed by the Islamic State and its related militant groups operating in Indonesia and Southeast Asia.
While much of the world sends its condolences and assistance to the victims of the Manchester attack, it is also crucial and vital that attention be turned to the events that have unfolded this week in Southeast Asia. The attacks in Bangkok and Jakarta are straightforward, although tragic and heartrending. What's unfolding in Marawi City is increasingly complicated. Coverage has been rather sparse on the Bangkok, Marawi City and Jakarta attacks, yet the string of incidents in Southeast Asia cannot be ignored as the region faces insecurities under these chaotic situations that have emerged over the week.