Philippines vows to crush militants after attack

Philippines vows to crush militants after attack

Philippines vows to crush militants after attack

In this photo provided by WESMINCOM Armed Forces of the Philippines, soldiers and police cordon off the area after two bombs exploded outside a Roman Catholic cathedral (background right) in Jolo, the capital of Sulu province in the southern Philippines where militants are active, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. The Philippine government says it will "pursue to the ends of the earth the ruthless perpetrators" behind bomb attacks that killed over a dozen people and wounded many more during a Sunday Mass at a cathedral on the restive southern island. (Credit: WESMINCOM Armed Forces of the Philippines Via AP.)

Police say a bombing of a cathedral on a southern Philippine island has killed 20 people, lowering an earlier announced toll that police say was incorrect due to double counting.

MANILA, Philippines — Police say a bombing of a cathedral on a southern Philippine island has killed 20 people, lowering an earlier announced toll that police say was incorrect due to double counting.

Police say another 81 people have been wounded in the blast. The fatalities include 15 civilians and five troops. Among the wounded are 14 troops, two police and 65 civilians.

Security officials say the first bomb went off in or near the Jolo cathedral during Sunday Mass, followed by a second blast outside the compound as government forces were responding to the attack.

Jolo Island has long been troubled by the presence of Abu Sayyaf militants, who are blacklisted by the United States and the Philippines as a terrorist organization because of bombings, kidnappings and beheadings.

The government says in a statement it will pursue the attackers “until every killer is brought to justice and put behind bars. The law will give them no mercy.”

It says authorities are investigating the attacks.

No one has immediately claimed responsibility.

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