On January 11, a five-year-old child was killed and six people injured when a bomb exploded on a bus. Another bomb went off in April, injuring six people on a vehicle. Two bombings in May injured three people and, on June 11, a bomb exploded on a passenger bus, injuring two people. Another bomb went off in an empty parking lot but did not cause any injuries.
One bombing is enough to unsettle people. Six over the course of just a few months has left civilians rattled, including Christians.
In the midst of confusion and danger, however, believers are turning to prayer. “They said they are already used to situations like bombings,” said a local partner. “But the trouble in [this area] appears to have returned, and only the Lord can truly stop it and protect us.”
While no one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, the Islamic State group-affiliated Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and the communist New People’s Army (NPA) are known to be active in the region. Other bombings in the past have been attributed to the groups.