04/14/2008, 00.00
PHILIPPINES

Bomb attack against Zamboanga cathedral

by Santosh Digal
Placed under a car in the church parking explosive device damages wall and windows. Three militants from Abu Sayyaf, al-Qaeda’s Filipino branch, are blamed.

Zamboanga (AsiaNews) – Suspected Islamic militants from Abu Sayyaf, al-Qaeda’s Filipino branch, placed a bomb in the compound of Zamboanga’s Roman Catholic cathedral and in a building housing a government office yesterday. No one was injured in the ensuing blasts.

No one was hurt in the explosion but a wall and windows were damaged.

Regional police Chief Superintendent Jaime Caringal said a mortar round was hidden in a box under a car in the parking lot of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral.

A church caretaker saw three men fleeing the scene on a motorcycle shortly before the blast. He said the men were overheard talking in Tausug, a dialect spoken by Muslims in Mindanao.

For Caringal the men were Islamic militants.

Zamboanga Archbishop Romulo Valles called for prayers and described the attack as a work of evil that must be condemned.

“We are saddened by this bombing attack. It’s a symbolic place and it is Sunday and there’s a lot of churchgoers, but it’s a great comfort for us to know that no one was hurt or killed,” he said.

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