ISIS claims responsibility for Philippines church bombing

MANILA (DPA) – The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group on Sunday (Jan 27) claimed responsibility for twin bombings at a cathedral in the southern Philippines that killed at least 20 people and wounded 111 others.

ISIS made the claim hours after the attack via its Amaq news agency mouthpiece, according to the SITE Intelligence Group which monitors the extremist organisation’s online activity.

ISIS directly released its own statement claiming it was behind attack shortly afterwards.

The first blast occurred inside the packed Roman Catholic cathedral in the town of Jolo during Sunday mass. As government troops responded, the second explosion happened in a carpark.

Jolo is on an island with the same name that is a stronghold of Abu Sayyaf, a terrorist group blamed for some of the worst bombings and high-profile kidnappings in the Philippines.

Authorities have not yet determined a motive for the attack or if it was connected to a plebiscite held in the area last week that endorsed the creation of a new Muslim autonomous region.

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