ISIS is claiming the double bombing of a cathedral in the Philippines during Sunday Mass that left 20 confirmed casualties and over 100 injured.
During yesterdays January 27th Sunday Mass, two bombs exploded minutes apart at Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on the southern Philippine island of Jolo, capital of the predominantly Muslim Sulu province.
The initial blast inside destroyed wooden pews and shattered glass windows. The second blast went off near the entrance when Mass-goers were rushing outside and Police and army troops stationed nearby were trying to enter.
According to police, at least 15 civilians and 5 soldiers were confirmed killed in the bombing. The wounded included at least 90 civilians, 17 soldiers, two police officers, and two coast guards.
In a statement, the Philippines bishops’ conference condemned the attack as an “act of terrorism,” and expressed their condolences:
“We condole with the families of the several soldiers and civilians who were killed by the explosions. We also express our sympathies with those who were wounded and extend our solidarity with the rest of the church-goers inside the Cathedral and the rest of the church community in the Apostolic Vicariate of Jolo.”
The bombing came nearly a week after the creation of a new autonomous region in the southern Philippines in hopes of ending a nearly half century long separatist rebellion. While the new region was endorsed by a majority of Muslim voters, it was rejected by Muslim voters in Jolo of the Sulu province.
You can read the official statement from the CBCP, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines below:
— Manila Bulletin News (@manilabulletin) January 27, 2019