News analysis

Sulu bombing shows churches remain symbolic targets

Policemen and soldiers stand outside the bomb-hit church in the Philippine province of Sulu on Jan 27, 2019. PHOTO: AFP
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JAKARTA - The bombing of a Roman Catholic cathedral in the Philippine province of Sulu on Sunday (Jan 27) is a deadly reminder that churches remain a symbolic target of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), following similar attacks claimed by the militant group in France, Egypt, Russia and Indonesia in recent years.

Despite ISIS claiming responsibility for the latest strike, Manila seems to prefer to believe that it was perpetrated by domestic militants opposed to the Jan 21 vote for self-rule in southern Muslim Mindanao.

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