Grenade assault kills two at southern Philippines mosque

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Grenade attack kills two at southern Philippines mosque
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AFP / STR
The blast tore by means of the constructing because the victims had been sleeping

A grenade assault on a mosque within the troubled southern Philippines killed two folks early Wednesday, authorities mentioned, simply days after a lethal Catholic cathedral bombing and a vote backing Muslim self-rule within the area.

The blast tore by means of the constructing because the victims had been sleeping within the predawn darkness on the insurgency-plagued island of Mindanao, which is dwelling to the Philippines’ Muslim minority.

Blood-streaked prayer mats and shattered glass may very well be seen on the ground contained in the mosque the place closely armed safety forces had been standing guard, footage from the scene confirmed.

The blast got here because the Catholic-majority nation was on excessive alert after a cathedral bombing claimed 21 lives at Sunday mass in an assault claimed by the Islamic State.

Two folks had been killed and 4 others wounded within the mosque assault in Zamboanga Metropolis, authorities mentioned, including they’d no indication to this point it was retaliation for the cathedral bombing.

“We’re nonetheless taking a look at it, however we now have not discovered any connection,” Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana instructed reporters. “Up to now when church buildings had been bombed… there have been no revenge assaults.”

Authorities haven’t publicly recognized any suspects and nobody has claimed accountability for the mosque assault.

– ‘Pray for peace’ –

Safety forces are additionally looking for the bombers behind the cathedral assault on the overwhelmingly Muslim island of Jolo, which safety forces initially mentioned was not a suicide bombing.

AFP / AFP
Philippines assaults

Nevertheless, on Tuesday President Rodrigo Duterte contradicted them saying one of many bombers had blown himself up exterior the cathedral.

On Wednesday Lorenzana appeared to stroll again the president’s feedback, saying: “The ultimate conclusion isn’t there but. It is nonetheless being investigated.”

The probe was zeroing in a gaggle tied to the infamous Islamist kidnap-for-ransom group Abu Sayyaf, which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

Police mentioned they tried to arrest one of many suspects on Tuesday, however he bought away and an armed man was shot lifeless by officers within the course of.

The assaults have solid a shadow over hopes that voters’ decisive push to provide Muslims within the south extra management over their very own affairs would assist quell long-running separatist violence.

AFP / STR
Authorities haven’t publicly recognized any suspects and nobody has claimed accountability for the mosque assault

Rebels and the federal government in Manila have expressed hope the brand new so-called Bangsamoro space will lastly draw the funding wanted to tug the area out of the brutal poverty that makes it a hotspot for recruiting radicals.

Nevertheless, hardline factions aligned with IS weren’t a part of the decades-long peace course of with the nation’s largest separatist group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Entrance, that culminated January 21 with the resounding approval of a brand new Muslim led-region within the south.

Jolo, which is dwelling to hardline Islamist factions, is the one space within the southern Philippines that voted towards the Bangsamoro.

The grenade assault on Wednesday drew instant condemnation from authorities.

“There is no such thing as a redeeming such blasphemous homicide. It’s the highest type of cowardice and obscenity to assault individuals who at prayer,” mentioned regional chief Mujiv Hataman.

“We name on folks of all faiths… to come back collectively to wish for peace.”



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