Daesh Claims Responsibility for Deadly Bombing at Philippine Catholic Mass
Story Code : 1100265
The explosion occurred on Sunday in a gymnasium at Mindanao State University in Marawi City, where pro-Daesh militants conducted a five-month siege in 2017, claiming over 1,000 lives.
In a statement on Telegram, Daesh said its operatives “detonated an explosive device on a large gathering of Christians … in the city of Marawi.”
Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr condemned the “senseless and most heinous acts perpetrated by foreign terrorists,” Al Jazeera reported.
Defence Secretary Gilberto Teodoro, at a press conference, mentioned “strong indications of a foreign element.”
Security officials in the Philippines suggested on Sunday that the attack might be retaliation for a military operation around 200km (125 miles) from Marawi City that resulted in the death of 11 rebels.
On Monday, police revealed they were investigating at least two people of interest in connection with the bombing. Regional police chief Allan Nobleza stated, “In order not to preempt the investigation, we will not divulge the names.”
Mindanao State University, deeply saddened by the “senseless and horrific act,” suspended classes until further notice.
Mindanao, situated in the country’s far south, has experienced prolonged violence due to an insurgency by armed separatist groups. Despite a peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in 2014, smaller groups continue to carry out attacks on the island.