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Three killed, nine injured as explosion rocks Catholic church during mass in Philippines



At least three people have been killed and nine injured in an explosion that hit a Catholic Church in Southern Philippines during mass on Sunday morning, authorities have confirmed.

According to the Regional Police Director, Brigadier General Allan Nobleza, the incident occurred at the gymnasium of Mindanao State University in Marawi, the country’s largest Muslim city.

“On 3rd December, an explosion took place during a Catholic Mass at Mindanao State University in Marawi, southern Philippines. As per reports, three people died, and at least nine were injured in the incident,” Nobleza said in a statement.

The Police Director said that the law enforcement agencies are investigating the incident with agencies considering possible angles of revenge by pro-Islamic State terrorists.

READ ALSO:Chinese beat Nigerian student to death in Philippines

The Mindanao University said in a statement that it was deeply saddened and appalled by the senseless and horrific violence.

“Violence has no place in a civilized society, and it is particularly abhorrent in an institution of higher learning like MSU.

“We stand in solidarity with our Christian community and all those affected by this tragedy,” the statement said, adding that additional security staff had been deployed on its campus and that all academic activities would be suspended until further notice.

The area where the incident occurred has been a stiff battle ground between government forces and militants backed by the Islamic State especially in 2017 when the city witnessed five months of intensive clashes.

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