Grenade attack on Philippines church injures six
Elderly people among victims in Zamboanga blast
Soldiers man a checkpoint in Zamboanga City (photo by Joe Torres)
At least six people were injured on Sunday after men on motorcycles threw a grenade into a Catholic church in restive Zamboanga, a southern Philippines city known for Muslim rebel activity.
Two unidentified men launched their attack during a meeting of 30 elderly residents on Sunday morning, authorities said.
The men later fled towards the city center, said a police report. There was no known motive for the attack in a city where more than 70 percent are Christian and less than a quarter Muslim in a region wracked by separatist violence in recent decades.
The Mindanao Human Rights Action Center condemned the incident, saying it is "not only a violation of domestic and international humanitarian law, it also prevents us from building a mutually tolerant pluralistic society and further fans the flames of the conflict".
Although the government signed a landmark peace deal with the Mindanao Islamic Liberation Front last week, other Islamist rebel groups remain active in the southern Philippines.
On Saturday, a television reporter and a cameraman were among 12 people injured in a roadside explosion in Datu Saudi Ampatuan in Maguindanao province. The military blamed the rebel Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters which was engaged in a weeklong firefight with government troops.
Church leaders are again using their influence to speak out against dark times
Stella Maris Major Seminary was suppressed by the government but re-emerged, training priests for Vietnam's parishes
A recent strike has resulted in dozens of arrests but most will be released after buyers pull out of a summit
Authorities scramble to verify reports Juergen Gustav Kantner was killed after ransom deadline expired
Famous couple have a son with autism and are raising awareness about the condition