Philippine mosque attack injures 15

Ten police officers among those wounded in dual-blast attack on mosque on Philippine island of Mindanao as the country hopes to end years of fighting with Muslim rebels

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Five civilians and 10 police officers were injured in an attack on a mosque in Mindanao island of southern Philippines on Saturday.

An initial grenade attack wounded three people, including children, and when police arrived to the scene ten minutes later a bomb exploded, injuring 10 policemen and two more civilians.

"It seems the [first] explosion was set up to draw responders as the target," provincial police chief Senior Superintendent Abraham Orbita told reporters.

The attack occurred in the mainly Muslim Mindanao island's provincial capital of Jolo and the authorities suspect the Abu Sayyaf militant group, which is against the peace process between the government and Muslim rebel groups.

Neither Abu Sayyaf or any other group have yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Philippines government and the country’s one-time largest Islamic group the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed the peace deal on March 2014, after 17 years of negotiations to end the 45-year conflict between the sides. Muslim rebels fought for greater political autonomy and more rights in Muslim Bangsomoro region.  

Breakaway rebel groups have vowed to destroy the peace deal, saying they are fighting for an independent state for the Philippines’ Moro minority, the region's indigenous Muslims, in the south.

The proposed Bangsomoro law has ended the conflict which resulted in the deaths around 120,000 people, displaced 2 million and stunted growth in the poor but resource-rich south, and it will replace the 26 years old Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao with a new, parliamentary, MILF-led entity.

TRTWorld and agencies