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Four Killed, Dozens Wounded in Explosion at Catholic Mass in Philippines’ Largest Muslim City

HeadlineDec 04, 2023

In the Philippines, the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for an explosion during a Catholic Mass Sunday that killed four people and injured dozens of others. The blast went off inside the gymnasium of Mindanao State University in Marawi, the Philippines’ largest Muslim city. A survivor recounted her ordeal.

Reina Mae Fernandez: “At first we were singing during the Mass. Then there was a sudden explosion behind us. We thought it was just the speakers, but then everybody started running. I stumbled, and my friend told me to keep running. That’s all I can remember. When I got out of the gym, I fell, and my friends started crying because they saw I was wounded in the back.”

In 2017, the Philippines government waged a monthslong battle to dislodge ISIS-allied militants in Marawi, laying waste to much of the southern city and killing nearly 1,200 people.

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