» 10/09/2014, 00.00
North Cotabato: grenade attack on Protestant church, two dead and three wounded
The attack took place in the late afternoon yesterday, during a prayer service. Two men on a motorcycle threw a grenade at the place of worship. So far no official claims, the assailants managed to escape. Pastor Jerry Sanchez condemns violence.
Manila (AsiaNews /
Agencies) - Two Christians
have been killed and three others
wounded in an grenade attack late yesterday
afternoon in the southern Philippines. Police sources report that two men on a motorcycle threw a grenade at the
main entrance of the United
Church of Christ in the town of Pikit,
in the province of North Cotabato, on the southern island of Mindanao.
Local witnesses say that the community in the small
southern town was gathered in prayer, when
suddenly a loud explosion was heard. At the moment there are no claims or official news
about the attack; the assailants managed to make a clean get
The victims are a nurse of 54 and a teacher of 39, who were hit by shrapnel and
died due to the severity of their
injuries. Pikit police chief Mautin
Pangandigan, reports that a M203 grenade launcher was used. Another
teacher and two businessmen
are injured and hospitalized,
but there are no further details about their conditions.
Pastor Jerry Sanchez explained
that at the time of the attack, there
were at least 40 worshipers
inside the church. "We have no idea why it happened - adds the local leader of the
Protestant community - but
we condemn this act of brutal force." He
reports that the community has
been active in promoting peace in
In recent years, the province of Cotabato has been the subject of numerous attacks carried
out by criminal gangs linked to
local political leaders or Islamic extremist Abu Sayyaf
and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Often, however,
these acts go unpunished because of the climate of impunity that
characterizes the Muslim majority region
of Mindanao, which suffered more than 40 years of war between
Muslim rebels and the army.
Pikit, in particular, is a well-known
base for criminals and fighters linked
to extremist Islamic movements.
The peace agreement between the Milf and Manilashould put an end to the violence, but extremist
groups - such as the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom
Fighters (Biff) and
the Moro National
Liberation Front (MNLF) - have tried several times to hinder it.
In recent days, the police and government forces have been on alert for possible
attacks from groups opposed to the peace agreements,
but they do not rule out the involvement of clans and families engaged in
bloody feuds for control of the territory.
Mindanao, military and Islamist rebels abandon their weapons and play football
The sports match took place on the historic visit of President Aquino to Maguindanao (Mindanao). The Head of State and the leader of the MILF ready to get to work for a lasting peace. Over 60 dead in clashes in Sulu between Abu Sayyaf and the MILF separatist fringe.
Mindanao, Easter calls Christians and Muslims to strive for peace
During Holy Week and Easter, Mgr. Romulo Tolentino de la Cruz, Bishop of Kidapawan and member of the Forum of bishops and Ulema, tells AsiaNews about the situation and future expectations of the population of Mindanao. For 40 years, the Muslim majority region has been the scene of war between the Philippine army and Islamic rebels.
Human rights violations in Mindanao denounced
In its report published on 25 August, Amnesty International criticizes the military and MILF and focuses on the humanitarian disaster caused by the conflict. In major cities in the region the peace dialogue sessions between representatives of the Church and Islamic associations continue.
Church and government will not yield to the kidnappers' ransom demand for F. Sinnott
$ 2 million demanded. The priest is shown smiling in a video shot on 22 October.
08/09/2012 PHILIPPINES - ITALY
The tragedy of the people of Mindanao arrives at Venice Film Festival
The Film Sinapupan (Thy Womb) tells the story of two Muslim women archipelago of Tawi-Tawi, in the most southern island of Mindanao. The relationship between the two characters against the background of the life of a quiet fishing village marked by poverty and conflict between the army and Islamist rebels. The film is directed by Brillante Mendoza, winner of the 2009 prize at Cannes for Best Director.
ASIA â€“ WYD
Card Gracias: young Asians bring Asian values to World Youth Day in Krakow
"Our Asian pilgrims not only bring the grandeur, the vitality and beauty of Asia, but also the multi-cultural diversity, pluralism as well as Asian values of hospitality and family and, of course, the Church of the young.” Asia youth come to discover Krakow and the charisma of John Paul II, founder of the WYD.
Horror in Aleppo: "moderate" rebel group beheads Palestinian child
The Nour al-Din al-Zenki movement beheads 11-year old Abdallah Issa shouting "Allah Akbar". The child was executed for collaborating with government forces. Before he died he was tortured. The group’s leaders try to back away from the barbaric killing. The group is supported by Turkey, the US, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
23/07/2016 POLAND - VATICAN - WYD
19/07/2016 CHINA â€" VATICAN
21/07/2016 MALAYSIA - MYANMAR
20/07/2016 VATICAN - POLAND
19/07/2016 INDIA - UNITED STATES
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.