Philippines cathedral bombing

This item appears on page 18 of the March 2019 issue.

Two bombs were detonated in a Catholic cathedral on Jolo island, southern Philippines, on Jan. 27, killing 20 people and injuring dozens of others. The first bomb went off during a service, while the second one was detonated after soldiers responded to the scene. Islamist militant group Daesh (ISIL) has claimed responsibility for the attack.

A number of Islamist separatist groups operate in the southern Philippines, which is majority Muslim. A referendum held days before the bombing to create an autonomous Muslim state, called the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, passed with popular support. Bangsamoro has the same borders as the current state of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which it will be replacing over a 3-year transition period.