Islamic State claims responsibility for bombing of Catholic service in Philippines
The country’s military chief suggested the bombing could be a retaliatory strike in response to recent military actions against three Islamist militant groups.
The Islamic State terrorist group claimed responsibility for a fatal bombing Sunday during a Catholic Mass in the Philippines that killed at least four individuals and injured 45.
The explosive device, identified by the police as a 60 mm mortar round, detonated during the church service in a gymnasium at Mindanao State University in Marawi.
Following the bombing, security officials stated that police and military forces were placed on a heightened alert in the city as well as the capital Manila.
Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. repudiated the attack, “I condemn in the strongest possible terms the senseless and most heinous acts perpetrated by foreign terrorists upon the Mindanao State University," he said.
The country’s military chief, General Romeo Brawner, suggested the bombing could be a retaliatory strike in response to recent military actions against three Islamist militant groups Dawlah Islamiyah-Philippines, Abu Sayyaf, and Maute. These three terror organizations have formally pledged allegiance to ISIS in the past.
On Friday, the Philippine military announced a successful operation against Dawla Islamiyah, where they reported killing 11 fighters and capturing 13 after a three-hour battle.