CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 29, 2010) – At least 3 people were wounded after unidentified men tossed grenades Sunday during a mass inside a Roman Catholic Church in the southern Philippines.
The attack occurred at around 8:00 a.m. while a priest, Father Art Paraiso, was saying mass in San Vicente Ferrer church in the town of Kalilangan. “Three worshippers were injured in the grenade attack,” an aide to Bishop Jose Araneta Cabantan, of the Diocese of Malaybalay, told the Mindanao Examiner.
Witnesses said two young men in motorcycle lobbed two hand grenades, but only one exploded inside the inside church. The other explosive was later recovered and detonated by the police outside the church.
“The other grenade that failed to explode was detonated by the Kalilangan policemen who were also in the church hearing the mass of Father Art Paraiso,” the bishop later told reporters.
“Policemen who were in the church helped Father Paraiso in calming the parishioners down. They then all went outside the church and Father Paraiso proceeded to say the mass outside,” he said.
The motive of the attack is still unknown, but there were reports that it could be connected to the killing of a Muslim boy who was ran over by a commuter bus owned by Rural Transit of Mindanao in the province.
Relatives of the boy were allegedly behind the recent attacks on two Rural Transit buses in Wao and Kapatagan towns in Lanao del Norte province that left at least four people dead.
The attackers, disguised as policemen, told the passengers they were only after the bus driver and his conductor, but two passengers, who turned out to be policemen, were also shot dead after they introduced themselves as officers. (Bong Fabe)