At least four people were killed and dozens wounded in a bomb attack during a Catholic Mass in the insurgency-plagued southern Philippines on Sunday. Source: UCA News.
President Ferdinand Marcos has blamed the attack on “foreign terrorists.”
The blast happened yesterday during a regular Sunday Mass at Mindanao State University’s gymnasium in Marawi, the country’s largest Muslim city, regional police Chief Allan Nobleza said.
Police Lieutenant General Emmanuel Peralta said four people were killed and about 50 wounded in the blast that was caused by an improvised explosive device.
Other security officials said the bombing may have been a retaliatory attack for a series of military operations against Islamist militant groups in recent days.
Mindanao State University issued a statement condemning “the act of violence”, as it suspended classes and deployed more security personnel on the campus.
“We stand in solidarity with our Christian community and all those affected by this tragedy,” the university said.
Photos posted on the Lanao del Sur government’s Facebook page showed several overturned plastic chairs and debris around a black patch on the floor of the gymnasium.
Mr Marcos condemned the attack by “foreign terrorists”, describing it as “senseless” and “heinous”.
Marawi city Mayor Majul Gandamra urged members of the Muslim and Christian communities to remain unified.
“Our city has long been a beacon of peaceful coexistence and harmony, and we will not allow such acts of violence to overshadow our collective commitment to peace and unity,” Mr Gandamra said in a statement condemning the attack.
Nobleza said police were investigating whether the bombing was a revenge attack for a Philippine military airstrike on Friday that killed 11 Islamist militants from the Dawlah Islamiyah-Philippines organisation in Mindanao.