‘Foreign Terrorists’ Blamed For Bombing That Kills 4 Attending Mass In Philippines



At least four people were killed and 50 injured in a suspected bombing at a Catholic mass Sunday in the southern Philippines that officials are investigating as a potential “retaliatory” terrorist attack following clashes between pro-Islamic State groups and government forces in the region in recent days.

Key Facts

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. described the alleged attackers as “foreign terrorists,” vowing to “bring the perpetrators of this ruthless act to justice” in a statement on X.

Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro attributed the attack to “terrorist activity” in a press conference Sunday and said there were “strong indications of a foreign element.”

The blast happened early Sunday morning at a Mindanao State University gymnasium in Marawi in the southern Philippines, the homeland of the minority Muslim population in the predominantly Roman Catholic nation, which has been besieged by violence between insurgent groups and government forces for decades.

Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines have implemented additional security measures in the wake of the attack, including enhanced police and coast guard checkpoints, to “ensure the protection and safety of civilians” and “vulnerable communities,” Marcos said, adding that Philippine officials are in “close coordination with the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.”


Pope Francis offered prayers for the victims in a statement Sunday, adding that he is “close to the families, to the people of Mindanao who have already suffered so much.”

Key Background

The Islamic State-affiliated Maute terrorist group seized Marawi in May 2017, setting off a five-month battle with Philippine, U.S. and Australian forces that left more than 1,000 people dead. Sunday’s attack happened as Philippine officials have ramped up military operations against pro-Islamic State groups in the region, including one Sunday that killed a Maute group leader. Military chief of staff Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. said Sunday’s attack could be retaliation for the killing of 11 suspected Islamic militants by Philippine forces on Friday in a nearby province. Police Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Peralta also told reporters that officials surveying the damage at the university found fragments of a 60-millimeter mortar round, which have been used in previous attacks by Islamic militants in the region.

ABC NewsA suspected bomb blast kills at least 3 Christian worshippers in southern Philippines

Reuters‘Foreign terrorists’ behind deadly Philippine bombing, officials sayWashington PostBlast that killed 4 at university was terrorism, Philippine president says


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