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Muslims seek justice for Christmas Day blast

Filipino chapel bombers must be caught to ’prevent religious unrest’

Muslims seek justice for Christmas Day blast
Members of the United Youth for Peace and Development discuss strengthening Muslim-Christian dialogue in Jolo following the blast
Rick R. Flores and staff, Cotabato City

January 6, 2011

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Looking to ward off religious unrest, Muslim youths in the southern Philippines are demanding justice for 10 people injured in a Christmas Day bombing of a chapel in Jolo, Sulu province. “Resorting to arms and violence for whatever political or religious end can never justify an attack on human lives,” said Anwar Upahm from the United Youth for Peace and Development group told “It is an assault on peace and an insult to the right of any religious group to observe their faith and tradition,” he said. More than a week after the incident, police have yet to identify the suspects. “The police must double their efforts to arrest the criminals and bring them to justice to prevent a repeat of the incident,” the group said in a statement. It also urged Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and human rights commission chief Loretta Ann Rosales “to provide victims of the blast assistance with their recovery, compensation, and to address the prevailing problems affecting peace and law and order in Jolo.” Meanwhile, Oblates priest Romeo P. Villanueva, who was assisting the priest when the Asturias Sacred Heart chapel was bombed, said he doesn’t believe there is animosity between Muslims and Christians in the area. “However, there are bad elements among Muslims as well as among Christians,” he said. He urged Christians not to point accusing fingers at local Muslims. Related reports Christian-Muslim unity survives chapel attack Bishop seeks reparation for bombed chapel Muslims join pope to condemn Sulu bombing PM12337.1635
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