21 people are killed and at least 50 are injured after two bombs explode outside a Catholic cathedral in the Philippines during Sunday morning mass

The Philippine government says it will 'pursue to the ends of the earth the ruthless perpetrators' behind bomb attacks that killed at least 21 people and wounded dozens during a Sunday Mass at a cathedral on a restive southern island.
Security officials say the first bomb went off in or near the Jolo cathedral during Mass, followed by a second blast outside the compound as government forces were arriving in the area.
Philippine National Police chief Oscar Albayalde said that at least 21 people died and 70 were wounded. Police and military reports said the casualties included both troops and civilians. 
Video playing bottom right...
Click here to expand to full page
Loaded: 0%
Progress: 0%
0:03
Pause
Unmute
Current Time0:03
/
Duration Time0:39
Fullscreen
ExpandClose
Covered bodies lie on the ground in front of a church following two explosions in Jolo city, Sulu, Philippine
Covered bodies lie on the ground in front of a church following two explosions in Jolo city, Sulu, Philippine
Filipino soldiers gather evidences next to the covered bodies of victims in front of a church following explosions 
Filipino soldiers gather evidences next to the covered bodies of victims in front of a church following explosions 
According to reports, at least 21 people were killed and 71 others were injured after two bombs exploded outside a cathedral in the city Jolo
According to reports, at least 21 people were killed and 71 others were injured after two bombs exploded outside a cathedral in the city Jolo
Photos on social media showed debris and bodies lying on a busy street outside the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, which has been hit by bombs in the past. Troops in armored carriers sealed off the main road leading to the church while vehicles were transporting the dead and wounded to the hospital. Some casualties were evacuated by air to nearby Zamboanga city.
'I have directed our troops to heighten their alert level, secure all places of worships and public places at once, and initiate pro-active security measures to thwart hostile plans,' said Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana in a statement.
The government says in a statement it will pursue the attackers 'until every killer is brought to justice and put behind bars. The law will give them no mercy.'
It says authorities are now investigating the attacks. No one has immediately claimed responsibility.
Armed Forces of the Philippines, soldiers and police cordon off the area after two bombs exploded outside a Roman Catholic cathedral (background right) in Jolo, the capital of Sulu province in the southern Philippines where militants are active
Armed Forces of the Philippines, soldiers and police cordon off the area after two bombs exploded outside a Roman Catholic cathedral (background right) in Jolo, the capital of Sulu province in the southern Philippines where militants are active
The scene inside a Roman Catholic cathedral in Jolo, after two bombs exploded Sunday
The scene inside a Roman Catholic cathedral in Jolo, after two bombs exploded Sunday
The first blast occurred inside the Catholic church on war-torn Jolo on Sunday morning as mass was being celebrated, and was followed by a second explosion in the parking lot as troops responded
The first blast occurred inside the Catholic church on war-torn Jolo on Sunday morning as mass was being celebrated, and was followed by a second explosion in the parking lot as troops responded
'This bomb attack was done in a place of peace and worship, and it comes at a time when we are preparing for another stage of the peace process in Mindanao,' said Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. 'Human lives are irreplaceable,' he added, calling on Jolo residents to cooperate with authorities to find the perpetrators of this 'atrocity.'
Security officials were looking 'at different threat groups and they still can't say if this has something to do with the just concluded plebiscite,' Albayalde, the national police chief, told ABS-CBN TV network. 
Jolo Island has long been troubled by the presence of Abu Sayyaf militants, who are blacklisted by the United States and the Philippines as a terrorist organization because of bombings, kidnappings and beheadings. 
The Philippine government says it will 'pursue to the ends of the earth the ruthless perpetrators' behind bomb attacks that killed more than 20 people and wounded many more
The Philippine government says it will 'pursue to the ends of the earth the ruthless perpetrators' behind bomb attacks that killed more than 20 people and wounded many more
Government forces have pressed on sporadic offensives to crush the militants, including those in Jolo, a poverty-wracked island of more than 700,000 people. A few thousand Catholics live mostly in the capital of Jolo.
The cathedral is located in Jolo town center in front of a square and near a budget hotel, a bank and commercial stores as well as a public market.
The blasts came nearly a week after the government's plan to create a self-administered area for the Muslim-dominated parts of Mindanao was backed by 85 percent of voters in a referendum last Monday, paving the way for a three-year transition towards elections for a legislature that will choose an executive. 
Muslims in the predominantly Roman Catholic nation endorsed a new autonomous region in the southern Philippines in hopes of ending nearly five decades of a separatist rebellion that has left 150,000 people dead. 
Bomb victims receive treatment in a hospital after two blasts occurred outside a Roman Catholic cathedral in Jolo,  during a Sunday Mass at a cathedral on the restive southern island
Bomb victims receive treatment in a hospital after two blasts occurred outside a Roman Catholic cathedral in Jolo, during a Sunday Mass at a cathedral on the restive southern island
The attack came days after a predominantly Muslim area in the region voted "yes" in a referendum for greater autonomy
The attack came days after a predominantly Muslim area in the region voted "yes" in a referendum for greater autonomy
Although most of the Muslim areas approved the autonomy deal, voters in Sulu province, where Jolo is located, rejected it. The province is home to a rival rebel faction that's opposed to the deal as well as smaller militant cells that not part of any peace process.
Western governments have welcomed the autonomy pact. They worry that small numbers of Islamic State-linked militants from the Middle East and Southeast Asia could forge an alliance with Filipino insurgents and turn the south into a breeding ground for extremists.   
Government forces have pressed on sporadic offensives to crush the militants, including those in Jolo, a poverty-wracked island of more than 700,000 people. A few thousand Catholics live mostly in the capital of Jolo.
The cathedral is located in Jolo town center in front of a square and near a budget hotel, a bank and commercial stores as well as a public market.
21 people are killed and at least 50 are injured after two bombs explode outside a Catholic cathedral in the Philippines during Sunday morning mass 21 people are killed and at least 50 are injured after two bombs explode outside a Catholic cathedral in the Philippines during Sunday morning mass Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 07:20 Rating: 5

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.