3 dead, 9 wounded in Mindanao State University bombing

MARAWI. Three people died while nine others were wounded in an explosion at Mindanao State University  in Marawi City on Sunday morning, December 3, 2023.
MARAWI. Three people died while nine others were wounded in an explosion at Mindanao State University in Marawi City on Sunday morning, December 3, 2023.Contributed photo

THREE people died while nine others were wounded in an explosion at Mindanao State University (MSU) in Marawi City on Sunday morning, December 3, 2023, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief of the Public Information Office (PIO) Colonel Jean Fajardo said.

Police Regional Office in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PRO-Barmm) Director Brigadier General Allan Nobleza said the blast happened around 7:40 a.m. inside the Dimaporo Gymnasium of MSU while there was an ongoing Catholic Mass.

He said they are still investigating what explosive was used by the perpetrators.

Nobleza said they are investigating the potential connection of Dawlah Islamiyah to the incident.

On December 1, 11 members of the terrorist group, including its declared amir, Abdullah Sapal, were killed in a military offensive in Datu Hoffer Ampatuan, Maguindanao del Sur.

In a statement, the MSU condemned the incident.

“The Mindanao State University (MSU) community is deeply saddened and appalled by the act of violence that occurred during a religious gathering at the university gymnasium this morning of December 3,” it said.

“We unequivocally condemn in the strongest possible terms this senseless and horrific act and extend our heartfelt condolences to the victims and their families. We are committed to providing support and assistance to those affected by this tragedy,” it added.

It assured the imposition of measures to protect its students, faculty and staff, noting that they are aware of the heightened sensitivities and concerns that will arise from the incident.

Classes and all academic activities at MSU are suspended until further notice.

The MSU said that it will deploy additional security personnel on the campus in close coordination with local government and law enforcement authorities.

“We stand in solidarity with our Christian community and all those affected by this tragedy. We will not be deterred by this act of violence, and we will continue to work towards building a more peaceful and just MSU community,” MSU said.

“Violence has no place in a civilized society, and it is particularly abhorrent in an institution of higher learning like MSU, a bulwark of peace, harmony, solidarity, reverence for life and humanity. This attack is an assault on our core values and our commitment to creating a safe and inclusive community for all,” it added.

Meanwhile, Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal “Bombit” Alonto Adiong Jr. has ordered the PNP and other law enforcement agencies to “get to the bottom of this immediately.”

“I condemn the violent bombing incident that transpired this morning at the Dimaporo Gymnasium at the Mindanao State University during a Sunday mass congregation,” Adiong said.

“Here in my province, we uphold basic human rights, and that includes the right to religion. Terroristic attacks on educational institutions must also be condemned because these are places that promote the culture of peace and mold our youth to be the future shapers of this country,” he added.

Adiong expressed condolences to the families of the victims as he ensured them justice. (SunStar Philippines)

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