Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for a deadly bombing at a Catholic Mass in the Philippines on Sunday that killed at least four people and injured 50 others.
The attack was carried out in a university gymnasium in Marawi, a city in the south of the country besieged by Islamist militants for five months in 2017.
The Islamic State group, which wields influence in the country’s south, said on Telegram its members had detonated the bomb.
Earlier on Sunday, before Islamic State’s claim, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr condemned “the senseless and most heinous acts perpetrated by foreign terrorists”. Police and the military strengthened security in the country’s south and around the capital Manila.
In Rome, Pope Francis offered prayers for the victims during his Sunday address, and, in a separate written message, appealed to “Christ the prince of peace (to) grant to all the strength to turn from violence and overcome every evil with good”.