By BosNewsLife Asia Service
MANILA, PHILIPPINES (BosNewsLife)– Six people were injured when a bomb rocked an early morning Christmas mass in a church at a military base on a Muslim-dominated southern island in the Philippines, the military said.
Spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Randolf Cabangbang said the Catholic priest celebrating mass was among those wounded. It was not immediately clear how serious the injuries were.
Cabangbang said some 100 worshipers were present when an improvised explosive device planted on or near the roof of the church in Camp Asturias in Jolo on Sulu island, detonated at around 7 a.m. local time.
Parts of the roof and ceiling were destroyed, causing the injuries, Cabangbang added. Authorities were still investigating the incident Saturday, December 25.
No group claimed responsibility for the attack. The separatist Abu Sayyaf movement has been blamed for several bomb attacks on the Roman Catholic cathedral in Jolo since the early 2000s and for kidnapping priests and nuns.
Dozens of U.S. army Special Forces have been deployed in the region since 2004 to help train and advise security forces fighting the militants.
“We’ve placed our troops on alert to prevent similar attacks on churches, shopping malls, parks and transport terminals,” Cabangbang said in a statement to reporters.