On the southern Philippine island of Jolo, twenty people were killed in a twin bomb blast the morning of January 27th. During a Roman Catholic mass in the Cathedral of Our Lady Mount Carmel, the first explosion went off sending sharp wood debrew throughout the cathedral and shattering the windows. The second bomb went off outside the cathedral as the government officials were responding to the first attack. At the moment, twenty people have been killed and more than 100 injured.
During this sad time of mourning, the President of Philippines promised to rise to the challenge to pursue and end the terrorists who acted with violence. Pope Francis also spoke words of reproach and sadness, as with many other world leaders.
This was not the first time the square in front of the Cathedral of Our Lady Mount Carmel has been bombed. This brings into question why the the island of Jolo was bombed. Many believe it was due to the island’s decision of not joining the expanding autonomous government of the Moro nation. Majority of people believe that this new government could bring peace to the violence between the rebel groups and government. But there are some regions that have criticized this government for the lack of control and care for the violence that has been happening in the Philippines for the past fifty years. The conflicts of violence have led to more than 120,000 deaths.
The Muslim rebels believe this is the homeland of their Arab 13th century traders which settled along the Philippines coasts. Due to this, there are rebels that use violence, killing many innocent people along the way, in order to gain independence. One of the most famous groups is the Abu Sayyaf. This group has lead two attacks in the recent year, and were the ones associated with the 2017 invasion of Marawi, the largest Muslim city in the Philippines, killing more than 1,000 militants and citizens. The regional government, at this time, believe Abu Sayyaf was responsible for this act of terrorism.
Source: Aljazeera.com, CNN, The Guardian