Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Blast hits Cathedral in the southern Philippines

ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / October 27, 2009) – A grenade exploded Tuesday at the Roman Catholic cathedral in the largely Muslim province of Sulu in the southern Philippines, officials said.

Officials said the grenade was hurled at the back of the cathedral in the capital town of Jolo at around 10.45 a.m. There was no report of casualties from the blast and no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, said Marine Major Ramon David Hontiveros, a regional military spokesman.

“Post-blast investigation reveals that the explosion was caused by an M72 grenade thrown from the back of the cathedral over the rear wall. Nobody was hurt,” Hontiveros said, adding the attack could be a test by terrorists to see the reaction of the police and military forces in the area.

Church officials in Sulu could not be contacted to comment on the attack, but soldiers and policemen have been guarding the cathedral in years because of threats of Abu Sayyaf attacks against priests and nuns.

Early this year, suspected Abu Sayyaf militants also detonated a homemade bomb in front of the cathedral. The Abu Sayyaf has been blamed by the police and military for the spate of kidnappings for ransom and terrorism in the southern Philippines.

In 1997, militants shot dead Sulu Bishop Benjamin de Jesus as he was walking in front of the cathedral. (Mindanao Examiner)

No comments: