Speed Reads


20 dead after bombing in Mass at cathedral in Philippines

At least 20 people are dead and 111 wounded after two bombs exploded Sunday morning during Mass in a Roman Catholic cathedral in Jolo, an island in the southern Philippines.

The first blast occurred while churchgoers attended a service, sending them rushing out as soldiers and police hurried inside to assist the victims. The second bomb, possibly attached to a parked motorcycle, went off by the main entrance. Those killed during the explosions include 15 civilians and five solders, reports The Washington Post.

Troops in armored carriers sealed the main road to the church while vehicles transported the dead and wounded to the hospital in town. Some casualties were also evacuated to nearby Zamboanga city by air, reports the Associated Press. Philippine armed forces are now on high alert, doing their best to secure all places of worship and public areas.

Islamist extremist Abu Sayyaf militants have been active on the island of Jolo for some time now. "We will pursue to the ends of the earth the ruthless perpetrators behind this dastardly crime until every killer is brought to justice and put behind bars," the office of President Rodrigo Duterte said in Manila. "The law will give them no mercy."