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Over a dozen wounded in Christmas Eve blast near Philippine church

COTABATO: 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 arriving for a Christmas Eve mass at the Archdiocesan Shrine of Santo Nino in Midsayap town, about 900 kilometres south of Manila, police said.

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Authorities did not immediately say who was responsible for the blast.

The town is resides in the middle of the large Philippine island of Mindanao, home to a Muslim minority and decades of armed rebellion.

Government forces continue to fight smaller Muslim armed groups on the island, some of whom have pledged allegiance to Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria and have been blamed for bombing civilian targets in the past.

Courtesy : Express Tribune

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