The aftermath of past Abu Sayyaf bombing of a Catholic church in Jolo town in the southern Philippine province of Jolo. (Photo by Nickee Butlangan – Mindanao Examiner)
ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 1, 2012) – A Catholic church came under grenade attack Wednesday in the predominantly Muslim province of Sulu in the southern Philippines, army officials said.
The attack came as Muslims take a break from their Ramadan fasting at dusk, but there were no reports of casualties or injuries.
Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, a spokesman for the Western Mindanao Command, said an unidentified man tossed the grenade at the Mount Carmel Cathedral in the capital town of Jolo.
He said the grenade landed on the church’s roof where it exploded. “Authorities recovered the grenade’s safety lever and there is an investigation going on to determine the motive of the attack and who was behind it,” he told the Mindanao Examiner.
No individual or group claimed responsibility for the blast, but previous attacks on the church were largely blamed to the Muslim extremist Abu Sayyaf, a small but the most notorious among rebel groups operating in the southern Philippines.
In December 2010, Abu Sayyaf rebels bombed another Catholic church inside a police compound in Jolo town and killing at least 6 people.
Rebels scaled the church wall undetected under cover of darkness and planted the bomb and waited the next morning before detonating the powerful explosive during a mass.
Two people were also killed and 17 others wounded when Abu Sayyaf rebels also detonated a huge bomb planted outside the Mount Carmel Cathedral in July 2009. A second bomb was found near the church and had been disarmed by Filipino and US troops stationed in Jolo.
The powerful blast damaged a row of stores outside the church. (Mindanao Examiner)