A second bomb attack occurred a short distance away, injuring a passer-by. "It is an act of coward on the eve of the christmas celebrations. The Church strongly condemns these attacks on people and churches," said father Zaldy Robles, a catholic priest serving in the cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Cotabato, as reported by the Fides Agency.
Father Robles said that the explosion occurred when the mass and vespers of the Sunday was in the course of it; the people, in panic, has sought refuge in the church. Despite the climate of tension and fear, church leaders have urged the population "not to be afraid to celebrate Christmas with joy and courage."
to another in the province of Maguindanao, a bomb was detonated in the town of Upi, injuring two people. A bomb was then thrown at a local police station but did not explode. The army and police have intensified investigations to find the perpetrators of these explosions serial.
"The security measures have been strengthened", said the mayor of Cotabato, Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi. According to the greater Arvin Encinas, a spokesman for the Command in the western esrcito in Mindanao, behind the attacks there may be terrorist groups, such as the "Moro Islamic Freedom Fighters" (Biff) or bound to the self-styled "islamic State" (Isis).
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