In a grenade attack on a mosque, two people were killed and at least four people were wounded. According to security officials, the attack happened early Wednesday morning in Zamboanga city, which is a crucial gateway of southern Philippines. This attack comes just three days after twin blasts at a church on a neighboring island that killed around 21 people and wounded more than 100 people.
The assault took place in the Zamboanga city, chiefly a Christian province in the Mindanao region. Zamboanga is a short boat ride from the main Muslim Sulu archipelago where the church bombing took place on 27th January.
The military demanded unity among Mindanao community and requested the public to abstain from postulation on social media that could spread misinformation. Chief Inspector Shellamae Chang, a spokesperson for the Zamboanga police, recognized those who were killed as Mr Habil Rex (46), and Mr Bato Sattal (47). It is being stated that both of them used to preach at the mosque. Regional task force commander, Colonel Leonel Nicolas emphasized that the incident is not a part of retaliatory action. The assault came a few hours after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared on television that the twin blast that killed 21 people on Jolo Island might be a suicide attack. The comment of the President contradicted the report that was issued by security officials. However, if it’s proved, it would become one of the first known cases of a suicide attack in the Philippines and persistent with the Islamic State group’s claim of being responsible for the blast.
According to reports, an unidentified suspect allegedly switched off a nearby streetlight and hurled a grenade at the mosque, in Talon district, where at least 10 people were sleeping. An investigator reported that a safety lever of a Belgian-made grenade was recovered from the site.
The grenade attack follows a favorable and peaceful 21st January referendum that strongly approved autonomy for the supposed 5 million inhabitants of predominantly Muslim parts of Mindanao.