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Pope prays for victims of bomb killed at Mass in Philippines

mindanao map Philippines

SevenMaps | Shutterstock

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 12/03/23

An explosion at a Mass early Sunday morning killed 4 people. "I am close to the families and the people of Mindanao, who have already suffered so much."
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Pope Francis assured his prayers for the victims of a bomb attack at a Mass early Sunday morning on the southern island of Mindanao in the Philippines.

The Holy Father, still suffering from a bronchial infection, had his Angelus address and appeals read by Bishop Paolo Braida, an official at the Vatican’s Secretariat of State. As the bishop read the Pope’s words about the attack, the Holy Father nodded his head with sadness.

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. I am close to the families and the people of Mindanao, who have already suffered so much.

Four people were killed in the explosion, which occurred as Mass was being celebrated in the gymnasium of Mindanao State University in Marawi. Another 42 people were wounded.

Marawi, officially the Islamic City of Marawi, is within the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), currently the only Muslim-majority autonomous region in the Philippines.

The BBC reported that the police commander in the region said the Daulah Islamiyah-Maute Group might be behind the bombing, as a retaliation for 11 of its members being killed in a neighboring town on Friday in clashes with the Philippine army.

“Violence has no place in a civilized society, and it is particularly abhorrent in an institution of higher learning like MSU,” a statement from the university said.

For five months in 2017, the city of Marawi was the site of a battle between the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and Philippine government forces.

The Philippine president released a statement condemning the attack.

Tags:
PhilippinesPope FrancisTerrorism
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