27 Christian worshipers murdered by Muslim terrorists in twin bomb blast at Philippines cathedral
Muslim terrorists detonated two huge bombs at a Roman Catholic cathedral in the Mindanao region of the southern Philippines, murdering at least 27 people and wounding nearly 80 during a Sunday Mass.
The first explosion went off inside the cathedral in Jolo, on the island province of Sulu, and was followed by a second blast in the car park outside, killing security forces and Christian worshipers.
“We will use the full force of the law to bring to justice the perpetrators behind this incident,” Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a statement.
ISIS has claimed responsibility for the bombings, the terror group’s Amaq news agency said Sunday, hours after the attack.
Jolo is a stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf terror group, which has a reputation for bombings and brutality, and for having pledged allegiance to ISIS.
It followed Friday’s announcement that the region, a mainly Muslim part of the predominantly Christian Philippines, had approved a plan to govern itself by 2022, boosting hopes for peace in one of Asia’s poorest and most conflict-torn regions.
Monday’s referendum saw 85 percent of voters back the creation of an autonomous area called Bangsamoro. Although Sulu was among only a few areas that rejected autonomy, it will still be part of the new entity.