(dpa) - Two bomb explosions rocked a Catholic church and a coffee house in the southern Philippines before dawn Sunday, but no one was hurt in the attacks, police said.
Authorities have not identified suspects in the attacks, which occurred in the wake of warnings by the United States and Australia of possible terrorist attacks in the southern Philippines.
The first explosion occurred near the right wing of the Immaculate Conception Metro Cathedral in Zamboanga City, 875 kilometres south of Manila, at 4:15 am.
Police Superintendent Jonathan Perez said the church was empty during the explosion since the first Mass was scheduled at 5 am.
The caretaker, who was preparing for the Mass, called police when he became suspicious about three men who entered the church compound but left immediately.
The explosion occurred while police were on the way to the cathedral.
Perez said a bomb was planted in one of two parked vehicles near the cathedral's right wing. The blast damaged both vehicles.
"The good news here is that no one was hurt," Perez said.
The second blast occurred just 10 minutes later in the front of a coffee shop located on the ground floor of a building that also houses the local office of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Perez said the coffee shop's door and sign were destroyed.
Zamboanga City Archbishop Romulo Valles expressed alarm over the bombing at the cathedral, which he denounced as an "act of the forces of darkness" and "an evil act."
"We should all join together and stand up and try everything to stop any further activities like this," he added.
Zamboanga City Mayor Celso Lobregat said authorities were determining who were behind the attacks and if they were related.
"We assure our residents that the authorities are on top of the situation doing everything to determine the cause and motive as well as perpetrators behind the attack," he said.