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Catholic World News

4 dead, 54 injured during bombing of Mass in Philippines; ISIS claims responsibility

December 04, 2023

A bomb exploded during Mass in a gym at Mindanao State University in the Philippines, killing at least four people and injuring at least 54.

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the December 3 attack.

Mindanao State University is located in Marawi, a city of 200,000 that is over 99% Muslim (and is officially known as the Islamic City of Marawi). The Philippine military and the Islamic State battled for five months in 2017 for control of the city, which is located on the island of Mindanao.

“I wish to assure my prayer for the victims of the attack that occurred this morning in the Philippines, where a bomb exploded during Mass,” Pope Francis said on December 3. “I am close to the families and the people of Mindanao, who have already suffered so much.”

In a statement following the attack, the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said:

Surely, the killers who precipitated such a horrendous act of violence have their loved ones too. What would it take to get them to see in the families of their victims their own families? Such violence should not only be denounced; it should also be renounced as a way of seeking redress by every peace-loving Filipino ...

We pray for the eternal repose of those who have died, and for the healing of those who have been injured. We unite ourselves spiritually with their families and draw strength and consolation from our faith in Christ who will “restore all things to himself, making peace by the blood of his cross…” (Col. 1:20)


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