Abu Sayyaf blamed for blast in Roman Catholic Church in S Philippines

22:12, October 27, 2009      

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Philippine security forces blamed Al-Qaida affiliated Abu Sayyaf militants for the grenade blast Tuesday inside a Roman Catholic Church in the southern Philippines.

Regional military spokesman Major Ramon David Hontiveros said the attack inside a church in Jolo, Sulu around 10:45 a.m. was part of the test mission of militants belonging to the Abu Sayyaf group.

"The explosion could be a test by the terrorists to see the reaction of our forces in the area," Hontiveros said.

There were no casualties in the blast inside the church along Arolas Street in Jolo, Sulu.

Investigators said the explosive was lobbed from an overland terminal beside the church.

Jolo is a known bailiwick of Abu Sayyaf, a group blacklisted by Washington as a foreign terrorist organization and considered a major security threat to the Philippines and the region engaged in kidnappings, bombings and even beheadings in the South over the past decade.

A day before the incident, security forces have foiled a roadside bombing in Zamboanga del Norte following the recovery of improvised bombs planted by unknown suspects.

On July 5, six people died and over 50 were injured when a homemade bomb went off in front of a Catholic church here.

Source: Xinhua
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