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The United States has condemned a terrorist attack during a Catholic Mass at Mindanao State University in the southern Philippines. The attack, which resulted in the death of at least four individuals and left dozens injured, has drawn international attention and criticism.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby emphasized US solidarity, saying, “We were extremely concerned that they didn’t take those two extra steps — release of political prisoners and getting our wrongfully detained Americans home,” during his appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”


Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr, alongside security officials, labeled the crime as the work of “foreign terrorists.” Subsequently, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack on the university’s gymnasium in Marawi. The city, previously besieged by Islamist militants in 2017, experienced a resurgence of violence with this latest incident.


Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro, addressing the media, asserted ongoing law enforcement operations to bring the perpetrators of this “terrorist activity” to justice. He noted, “There were ‘strong indications of a foreign element’ in the bombing.” Fragments of a 60-mm mortar, as identified by senior police official Emmanuel Peralta, were recovered from the scene, indicating the severity of the attack.


Armed Forces Chief Romeo Brawner, in a press conference, suggested that the bombing could be a retaliatory act by the Islamic State-linked Maute group. The group had previously attempted to establish Marawi as a Southeast Asian “wilayat” for the Islamic State.

The Lanao del Sur government shared images of the university gym where the blast occurred, displaying the extent of the damage. As the investigation continues, police offices in Mindanao and the capital region remain on high alert, and checkpoints have been tightened to prevent further incidents. Mindanao State University has temporarily suspended classes, expressing its sorrow and condemnation.


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