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Twin blasts at church kill several in Philippines

At least 17 dead and 42 wounded in twin-bomb attack during a Sunday mass outside a Roman Catholic cathedral in the volatile southern Philippine island where Muslim militants are active.

Sulu, Jan 27 : At least 17 dead and 42 wounded in twin-bomb attack during a Sunday mass outside a Roman Catholic cathedral in the volatile southern Philippine island where Muslim militants are active.

The first blast went off while churchgoers were inside the Jolo Cathedral in Sulu province and another deadly blast went off in the parking lot.

Jolo island is a stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf militant group. Abu Sayyaf militants are blacklisted by the United States and the Philippines as a terrorist organization.Abu Sayyaf group has been accused of bombings, kidnappings and beheadings.

“I have directed our troops to heighten their alert level, secure all places of worships and public places at once, and initiate pro-active security measures to thwart hostile plans,” said Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana in a statement.

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