MANILA, Philippines — A bombing attack at a Sunday’s Catholic Mass in Philippines claimed four lives, leaving several others injured, officials confirmed. ISIS has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.
“Authorities are investigating the explosion, which took place in a university gymnasium at Mindanao State University,” said regional police director Brigadier General Allan Nobleza.
The explosion occurred through a gymnasium at Mindanao State University in Marawi City, Southern Philippines during a Catholic mass service on Sunday morning.
Police say the attack at Mindanao State University gymnasium in Marawi could be as a result of revenge by pro-Islamic State militants. ISIS has so far confirmed that they are responsible of the attack.
While reacting to the news of the attack, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr condemned the act, describing it as heinous and senseless.
“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the senseless and most heinous acts perpetrated by foreign terrorists,” said Marcos.
“Extremists who wield violence against the innocent will always be regarded as enemies to our society,” he added.
The president further urged people to remain calm. He posted on his social media platform X formerly twitter account that he had given directives to the national police alongside armed forces “to ensure the protection and safety of civilians and the security of affected and vulnerable communities”.
“Rest assured we will bring the perpetrators of this ruthless act to justice,” asserted the president.
Philippines’ Army Major General Gabriel Viray III referred to the attack “a terror act” as explosive disposal experts were deployed.
“Right now we are on heightened alert and our troops remain vigilant as we are determining the motive and identifying the perpetrators to really ascertain who was behind it,” said General Viray.
“Terroristic attacks on educational institutions must also be condemned because these are places that promote the culture of peace,” said the Lanao del Sur governor, Mamintal Adiong Jr, in a statement.
The Philippine military raided and killed 11 militants on Saturday, entailing members of the Dawlah Islamiyah-Philippines formation. The operation saw the recovery of 10 high-powered firearms as well as three explosive devices.
Mindanao State University management said in a statement on its Facebook account it was “deeply saddened and appalled by the act of violence that occurred during a religious gathering. We unequivocally condemn in the strongest possible terms this senseless and horrific act.”
Elsewhere, the university has suspended its normal operations until further notice.
Later on Sunday, the Islamic State group – ISIS claimed responsibility for the bombing attack. The group indicated on Telegram that its members detonated a bomb targeting worshippers in the gathering.
“What’s the latest with Florida Man?”
Get news, handpicked just for you, in your box.