Multiple people were killed and dozens more were injured on Sunday following a church bombing in Marwari in the southern Philippines.
The National reported that at least four were killed and 50 more injured during the suspected ISIS terrorist attack that targeted the Catholic church during mass.
“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the senseless and most heinous acts perpetrated by foreign terrorists upon the Mindanao State University (MSU) and Marawi communities early this Sunday morning,” said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. “Extremists who wield violence against the innocent will always be regarded as enemies to our society.”
The blast happened in the school’s gymnasium just as the congregation began reading the Bible.
Military chief of staff Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. said that there were “strong indications of a foreign element” to the terrorist attack and that all evidence “points to the Maute-ISIS.”
The area is part of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which was given self-rule under former President Rodrigo Duterte in an effort to stave off growing Islamic terrorism.
The military killed 11 suspected pro-ISIS fighters on Friday after civilians provided information to the government on the terrorists’ whereabouts.
Brig. Gen. Oriel Pangcog, commander of the Philippine Army’s 601st Infantry Brigade, said: “Eleven members of the local terrorist group, including the proclaimed Ameer of Dawlah Islamiyah-Philippines, were killed in decisive military operations in the mountainous area of Mother Tuayan, Datu Hoffer Ampatuan, Maguindanao del Sur, at 12:15 p.m. on Friday. The operation also led to the recovery of ten high-powered firearms and three explosives.”