19 dead as twin blasts rock Phillippines

At least 19 people were killed and 48 others left wounded in twin bomb attack outside Roman Catholic Cathedral in Southern Philippines. Several soldiers were among those killed in the blast, which also wounded nearly 50 people who were attending Sunday Mass, officials said.

The first bomb went off in or near the cathedral of Jolo, the capital of Sulu province, followed by a second blast outside the compound as government forces were responding to the attack, security officials said.

The national police chief of the country confirmed the death toll and revealed that the first bomb went off in or near the cathedral at Jolo island during a Sunday mass. Adding, he claimed that the second explosion occurred outside the compound as government forces were responding to the first blast.

 

The deceased include five troops and three civilians. No terror organisation has immediately claimed the responsibility of the attacks. Jolo island has long been troubled by the presence of Abu Sayyaf militants.

 

The US and the Philippines have blacklisted Abu Sayyaf as a terrorist organisation because of several incidents of kidnapping, bombing and beheading. Jolo island has long been troubled by the presence of Abu Sayyaf, an armed group blacklisted by the United States and the Philippines as a terrorist organisation because of years of bombings, kidnappings and beheadings.

No one has immediately claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attack, according to Al Jazeera’s Jamela Alindogan, who is reporting from Manila.

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