Islamic State Claims Responsibility for Philippine Church Attack That Killed at Least 20
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attack on a Catholic Church in the Philippines. Two bombs killed at least 20 people, one detonated inside the Church during celebration of the Sunday Mass while another was detonated outside as first responders arrived on the scene. Jolo, the city where the attack took place, has been the home of many militant recruits to Abu Sayyaf and other groups, many of which have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. The attack highlights the ongoing threat of Islamic State-inspired violence in the country, occurring two days after a heated referendum on the creation of an autonomous region in the country’s Muslim majority area. The referendum itself was the product of a peace deal between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) as a political solution to a violent conflict that has lasted several decades.