Philippines: Authorities say church bombing not connected to Mindanao referendum

By World Watch Monitor

In one of the deadliest attacks in the southern Philippines in years, a bomb blast at a church killed at least 20 people and injured 112 on Sunday morning, 27 January.

Among the dead are five soldiers who came to the rescue after the first bomb went off inside the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Jolo, an island near Mindanao, and were hit by a second explosion in the church’s parking lot. Six children were wounded in the first blast in the centre of the church which happened during mass with some 100 people attending, reported the Philippines’ daily Rappler.

The twin bombings took place two days after the Muslim-majority Mindanao region, of which Jolo is a part, voted to become self-governing. However, Sulu province, of which Jolo is the capital, rejected it, said AsiaNews.