A bomb created from a mortar round exploded Sunday (Dec. 3) during a Catholic mass in the Philippines killing four, according to the latest reports. The mass was being held in a gym at Mindanao State University. Dozens of others, including students and teachers, were injured in the blast, the Associated Press said. The Islamic State group (ISIS) has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.
President Ferdinand Marcos stated on X (formerly Twitter), “I condemn in the strongest possible terms the senseless and most heinous acts perpetrated by foreign terrorists upon the Mindanao State University and Marawi communities early this Sunday morning. Extremists who wield violence against the innocent will always be regarded as enemies to our society.”
‘Deeply saddened and appalled’
The university is reportedly located in the country’s largest Muslim city, the BBC noted. ISIS claimed responsibility via Telegram Messenger stating the extremists “detonated an explosive device on a large gathering of Christian disbelievers in Marawi City,” CNN reported. The U.S. State Department condemned the “horrific terrorist attack” in a government statement.
Spokesperson Matthew Miller added, “The United States is in close contact with our Philippine partners and stands with the people of the Philippines in rejecting this act of violence.”
Mindanao State University said in a statement on Facebook it was “deeply saddened and appalled by the act of violence that occurred during a religious gathering. We unequivocally condemn in the strongest possible terms this senseless and horrific act.”
The university said it was suspending classes until further notice.