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Archbishop condemns attack at church festival. (World).

PHILLIPINES: The president of the bishops' conference here has condemned a May 1 grenade attack at a church fiestival in the southern Philippines that killed seven people and injured 127 others.

Archbishop Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato called on other religious leaders to denounce "the dastardly act of the basest kind" noting the "untold suffering" it has brought innocent families.

Police reports say a still unnamed teenager threw a grenade that exploded in a gymnasium at St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Notre Dame Village, Cotabato City.

Parishioners were celebrating the parish's feast day May 1 with other villagers and guests, including Muslims, when the blast. took place. Two people were killed on the spot while five others died in hospital.

Sangkala Dampac, Cotabato police chief, said a teenager got mad and threw the grenade at about 9:45 p.m. after the band playing in a concert rejected his song request.

Cotabato Task Force Commander Army Colonel Essel Soriano said that one of the suspects was overheard as saying, "Something will blow up here," after his request was turned down.

About 58 percent of Cotabato archdiocese's 1.6 million population are Catholics. The rest are Muslims, other Christians and animists.
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Title Annotation:Philippines
Author:Donovan, Gill
Publication:National Catholic Reporter
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:May 17, 2002
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