Explosion at Catholic mass in the Philippines claims four lives

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An explosion at a Marawi university gymnasium during Sunday mass killed at least four and injured dozens.

MARAWI, Philippines, Dec 3: An explosion during a Sunday mass service at a university gymnasium in Marawi, Philippines, has claimed the lives of at least four people and left dozens injured. The incident occurred on the southern island of Mindanao, with a section of the seating area devastated and debris scattered across the floor, as shown in photos from the scene.

Governor Mamintal Adiong Jr. of Lanao del Sur province described it as a “violent bombing” during the Sunday mass at Mindanao State University. Over 40 people are receiving treatment at Amai Pakpak Medical Center, while others with minor injuries are being treated at the university’s infirmary.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. condemned the attack in a tweet, denouncing it as “senseless and most heinous, perpetrated by foreign terrorists.” He did not specify any groups but emphasized that those resorting to violence against the innocent are considered enemies of society. Additional security personnel have been deployed to assist in the response.

Mindanao, located in the far south of the Philippines, is known for its Islamist insurgent groups, including Abu Sayyaf. Despite the predominantly Catholic population in the Philippines, Mindanao has a significant Muslim community. In 2017, ISIS-affiliated militants besieged Marawi for five months, leading to the displacement of over 350,000 residents before the government reclaimed the city.

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