13 injured in Christmas Eve blast near Popular Church

A blast ripped through a police car outside a Catholic church in the southern Philippines late Saturday, authorities said, wounding 13 people including a police officer. The explosion hit churchgoers attending a series of Christmas Eve masses at the Archdiocesan Shrine of Santo Nino in the farming town of Midsayap, a priest who present at the service said.

The explosion happened as worshipers attended a series of Christmas Eve masses, at the Archdiocesan Shrine of Santo Nino.

“The communion was ongoing when the explosion took place,” Father Jay Virador, a priest present at the scene, told reporters.

The incident has been confirmed by the regional police spokeman, Superintendent Romeo Galgo, which said the blast was from an unspecified device.

No group has claimed responsibility.

A police officer said it appears the suspects targeted the church, but because of heavy security, they attacked the patrol car.

“It seems they wanted to get closer but due to heavy security they opted to throw the explosive at the police car blocking the road,” the officer said.

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