Grenade assault on mosque kills two in Philippines south – safety official

Grenade attack on mosque kills two in Philippines south - security official

MANILA (Reuters) – A grenade thrown right into a mosque within the southern Philippines killed two folks and wounded 4, safety officers mentioned on Wednesday, three days after twin bombings at a church on a close-by island killed 21 folks.

The incident happened simply after midnight in Zamboanga, a predominantly Christian province within the Mindanao area. Zamboanga is only a quick boat journey from the primarily Muslim Sulu archipelago the place Sunday’s church bombing happened.

The army known as for unity amongst Mindanao communities and urged the general public to chorus from hypothesis on social media that might unfold misinformation.

Regional job pressure commander Colonel Leonel Nicolas pressured the incident was “not a retaliatory act”.

The assault got here just a few hours after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte mentioned on tv the dual explosions that killed 21 folks on Jolo island could have been a suicide assault.

His feedback ran counter to these of different safety officers however, if confirmed, it could be one of many first recognized circumstances of a suicide assault within the Philippines and according to the Islamic State group’s declare made by way of its Amaq information company.

The incidents observe a profitable and peaceable Jan. 21 referendum that overwhelmingly accredited autonomy for the estimated 5 million inhabitants of predominantly Muslim components of Mindanao. That adopted a decades-long separatist battle that has killed a minimum of 120,000 folks.

Muslims are a minority within the predominantly Catholic Philippines and symbolize a few quarter of the inhabitants of the Mindanao area.

Sectarian violence doesn’t occur usually there and the autonomy plan, which goals to handle persistent poverty, underdevelopment and violence, is essentially supported by Filipinos nationwide.

The Ulama Council of Zamboanga Peninsula condemned what it known as a “devilish, irrational and inhumane act” and urged folks to be vigilant.

The federal government believes a faction of the militant Abu Sayyaf group is behind the church bombing. Whereas the group has pledged allegiance to Islamic State, it’s comprised of quite a few factions with completely different targets and engages closely in piracy and kidnapping.

Reporting by Karen Lema and Martin Petty; Modifying by Paul Tait

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