When the blast ripped through the gymnasium of the Mindanao State University in Marawi, it was packed with worshippers, many of them students deep in prayer during Sunday Mass.

The timing of the attack was significant — around 7 a.m. on the First Sunday of Advent, the start of the traditional four-week preparation for Christmas which holds special meaning for the majority-Roman Catholic nation.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. swiftly condemned the assault as "heinous acts perpetrated by foreign terrorists.” Islamic State has since claimed responsibility on its Telegram channel, and while authorities say they’re still investigating, they have launched a "massive manhunt” to find the suspects. The bombing killed four people and at least 50 were injured, according to the Philippine military.