A grenade assault on a mosque within the troubled southern Philippines killed two individuals early Wednesday, authorities mentioned, simply days after a vote backing Muslim self-rule within the area.
The blast tore via the constructing because the victims have been sleeping within the predawn darkness on the island of Mindanao, which is house to the Philippines’ Muslim minority.
Blood-streaked prayer mats and shattered glass might be seen on the ground contained in the mosque the place closely armed safety forces have been standing guard, footage from the scene confirmed.
The blast got here because the Catholic-majority nation was on excessive alert after a cathedral bombing claimed 21 lives at Sunday mass in an assault.
Two individuals have been killed and 4 others wounded within the mosque assault in Zamboanga Metropolis, authorities mentioned, including they’d no indication up to now it was retaliation for the cathedral bombing.
“We’re nonetheless taking a look at it, however we’ve not discovered any connection,” Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana advised reporters. “Prior to now when church buildings have been bombed… there have been no revenge assaults.”
Authorities haven’t publicly recognized any suspects and nobody has claimed duty for the mosque assault.
The assault drew speedy condemnation from authorities.
“There isn’t a redeeming such blasphemous homicide. It’s the highest type of cowardice and obscenity to assault individuals who at prayer,” mentioned regional chief Mujiv Hataman.
“We name on individuals of all faiths… to return collectively to hope for peace.”