Grenade Attack In Davao Cathedral; Seven Dead, Scores Injured
MANILA, Philippines (AP) _ Attackers hurled three grenades into a Roman Catholic cathedral packed with worshippers Sunday, killing seven people and injuring about 130 others.
The attack was at the San Pedro Cathedral in Davao City, the largest city on Mindanao island. Five people were killed in a similar attack at the cathedral in 1981.
Police and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said the attack occurred about 6:35 p.m.
The Rev. Bong Dublan, who was celebrating Mass, said he an assailant in the rear of the cathedral throw two grenades.
″I have no idea what the motives are but it is an inhuman act,″ Dublan told a Manila radio station.
No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but suspicion fell on Muslim extremists.
Although Davao is a largely Christian city, Mindanao is the traditional homeland of the country’s Muslim minority.
Muslim groups have been blamed for a series of attacks on Christian interests in the southern Philippines.
Last month, an American linguist working as a Bible translator for the Summer Institute of Linguistics was kidnapped in the southern Philippines.
Charles Walton, 60, of Philadelphia was released three weeks later. His kidnappers dropped a demand to withdraw foreign missionaries from the south.
Four missionaries - three Spaniards and an American - were kidnapped in separate incidents from October 1992. All were released.