The attack took place a few days after a predominantly Muslim region in the region voted yes in a referendum for more autonomy. At least 27 people were killed with more casualties, local officials said. Colonel Gerry Besana, spokesman for the military's Western Mindanao Command, said the first blast killed two civilians and wounded 20 other churchgoers inside the Jolo Cathedral, named Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the Sulu Province. 19659003] Mr. Besana said the second explosive device was exploded when the soldiers responded to the first attack inside the church and wounded 15 other members of the security forces.
The government's plan to create a self-governing area for the Muslims The dominated parts of Mindanao were supported last Monday in a referendum by 85 percent of voters, paving the way for a three-year transition to electoral legislative elections becomes.
The country's national police chief, Oscar Albayalde, said at least 27 people died, including five troops and three civilians.
At least 77 more were injured.
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The island of Jolo has long been troubled by the presence of Abu Sayyaf fighters by the United States and the Philippines due to bombings Abductions and beheadings as a terrorist organization are being blacklisted.
Responsibility for the attack.
There are terrorist groups in the region, apart from the small but brutal Abu Sayyaf group, which joins the Islamic State group, which has also carried out attacks, including kidnapping and abducting ransom.
] The fighters of Abu Sayyaf still hold at least five hostages in their jungle bases near Sulus town of Patikul, not far from Jolo.
According to unofficial reports, at least five hostages are imprisoned ̵
Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana said in a statement, "I have instructed our troops to raise their alert levels and secure all places of worship and public places at the same time, and initiate proactive security measures to thwart enemy plans. "
Social media photos showed that rubble and corpses lay on a busy street outside the cathedral when scared churchgoers came to safety.  Rappler told the local police, "The victims were immediately evacuated. AFP, PNP (Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police) secure the area.
They said that two explosive devices (IEDs) were used to bomb the cathedral.
Last week's referendum has been critical of the time for the Philippines, which hopes to end the decades-long separatist conflict in Mindanao, which experts claim have caused extremism.
This has aroused the fear that foreign radicals will move to Mindanao to capitalize on porous borders, jungles and mountains capital wealth.