Incident Summary:

12/22/2019: Assailants threw explosive devices targeting security forces near the Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral at the corner of Sinsuat Avenue and Quezon Avenue in Cotabato City, Maguindanao, Philippines. At least nine people were injured in the attack. This was one of four related attacks on this day. No group claimed responsibility for the incident; however, sources attributed the attack to the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFM), which denied involvement. Sources also suspected the involvement of the Maute Group.




Southeast Asia

region/u.s. state:


Cotabato City

Location Details:
The incident occurred at the corner of Sinsuat Avenue and Quezon Avenue.

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Armed Assault
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Military
Name of Entity Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
Specific Description Security Forces
Nationality of Target Philippines
Target Type: Religious Figures/Institutions
Name of Entity Immaculate Concepcion
Specific Description Church
Nationality of Target Philippines
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Minor (likely < $1 million)
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Explosives Grenade
Firearms Handgun
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?Yes
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information Casualty numbers conflict across sources. Following GTD protocol, the lowest reliable estimates are reported here. This incident is part of a set of coordinated attacks in which both military and non-military entities were targeted.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFM) (suspected) No
Maute Group (suspected) No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 2
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities / 9 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 9
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"ISIS terror risk to rise in south Philippines," Asia Times Online, December 30, 2019.
"ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES blames BIFF for Mindanao blasts that wounded 23 people," Philippines Daily Inquirer, December 24, 2019.
"At least 23 hurt in southern Philippine bombings," Straits Times, December 23, 2019.