Jolo church bombed PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 24 August 2016 11:28

Suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf lobbed a grenade that exploded early Tuesday morning inside a Catholic church conflict-wracked Jolo island.

No one was injured, but the blast destroyed some interior parts of the Mount Carmel Cathedral Convent located at the heart of the town where President Rodrigo Duterte flew in on August 12  to persuade the fujitive leader of one time rebel group Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) to come out and participate in peace talks.

Philippines Start quoted the Sulu police provincial office as saying the grenade was thrown by suspected Abu Sayyaf militants into the church around 5:40 a.m. causing panic in the neighborhood. It was not known if there were any church goers inside when the grenade exploded.

Orbita quoted witnesses as saying that two unidentified men aboard a motorcycle drove by and tossed the explosive into the church that had suffered three other grenade attacks in October 2009, December 2010 and August 2013.  Six were injured In the 2010 attack and two in the 2013 blast.

Jolo island is one of two Abu Sayyaf strongholds where it is holding dozens of hostages, includin foreigners.

The militant group has recently pledged allegianceto Daesh.

Since 1991, the Abu Sayyaf — armed with mostly improvised explosive devices, mortars and automatic rifles — has carried out bombings, kidnappings, assassinations and extortions in a self-determined fight for an independent province in the Philippines.

It is notorious for beheading victims after ransoms have failed to be paid for their release.