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Several killed in bombing during Catholic mass in Philippines

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At least three people were killed and seven wounded in a bomb attack on a Catholic mass in the insurgency-plagued southern Philippines on Sunday, officials said.

The blast took place during a regular service at Mindanao State University’s gymnasium in Marawi, the country’s largest Muslim city, regional police Chief Allan Nobleza said.

“We’re investigating if it’s an IED or grenade throwing,” Nobleza said, referring to an improvised explosive device.

Mindanao State University issued a statement condemning “the act of violence,” as it suspended classes and deployed more security personnel on the campus. 

“We stand in solidarity with our Christian community and all those affected by this tragedy,” the university said in a statement.

Photos posted on the Lanao del Sur provincial government’s Facebook page showed Governor Mamintal Adiong visiting “wounded victims of the bombing” at a medical facility.

The incident came after the Philippines military launched an airstrike Friday that killed 11 Islamist militants from the Dawlah Islamiyah-Philippines organisation in Mindanao.

The military said Saturday the group had been planning to mount attacks in Maguindanao del Sur province. 

Nobleza said police were investigating whether Sunday’s attack was linked to Friday’s airstrike.

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