On Sunday, two bombs that were set minutes apart cut through a Roman Catholic cathedral in southern Philippines, killed around 20 people and wounded many people. The attack took place on a southern Muslim-majority island of Jolo, where the Muslim militants are very active. The attack took place during a Sunday mass and it was one of the worst bombing attacks on the country in years.
Experts asserted their worries over the effect of the attack that it would bring on a decade-long advancement for peace that ended up last week with the voters admitting that there has been a growing Muslim-self rule in the south.
According to the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, two doubtful improvised explosive devices went off at intervals at the Jolo Catholic cathedral in the Mindanao region. Around 81 people have been wounded, as per official sources, which include 14 soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and two Philippine National Police officers.
The first device blasted inside the cathedral, and the second one aimed close by soldiers who were rushing to assist the victims of the first explosion, according to the Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo.
On Sunday, ISIS claimed accountability for the blast via its news agency. Shortly after that, ISIS’ another agency also issued a formal message for the twin suicide bombings.
The country’s military as well as the police forces are safeguarding the area and all injured people were shortly removed from the area o blast. Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana in a statement criticized the blast and stated that he has ordered troops to “strengthen and improve their alertness” and protecting the place of worship and public spaces.
The remote island of Jolo is a safe-haven of the group, which is accused of causing deadly bombings, which includes an attack on a ferry in Manila Bay in 2004 that took away 116 lives in the nation’s deadliest terror attacks.
The attack on the church attack came in spite of President Rodrigo Duterte placing the southern Philippines under martial rule after pro-IS militants seized the southern city of Marawi in May 2017.