MEXICO CITY (AP) — An explosive device damaged a door at the headquarters of Mexico's Roman Catholic Council of Bishops early Tuesday, church officials said, but there were no injuries.
In a statement the council said the homemade device was left outside the building in Mexico City around 2 a.m. Video of the fiery blast shows it blowing the door open.
According to first reports, occupants heard the burst and noticed broken glass and damage to main door when they went to check out the source of the sound.
Experts in forensics, explosives and photography have been sent to the site to collect evidence. Once the preliminary investigation is completed, the case will be passed to the Mexican Attorney General's office. There was no immediate word on possible suspects or motive.
The office is located in the northern part of the capital near the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, one of the world's most important Catholic shrines.
"Apparently this is not the first such incident to occur in this neighborhood of Mexico City," read the statement, which was attributed to spokesman ArmandOo Cavazos and appealed for patience in clarifying the matter.
Bishop Ramon Castro of the Cuernavaca diocese said via Twitter he believes the incident "reflects the situation in Mexico," where homicide rates are on the rise amid a drug war that's over a decade old.
In a press conference Tuesday afternoon, a council representative called for "serenity, prudence and respect" in the face of the violence. "The events of today should invite us to reflect upon the necessity of rebuilding our social fabric," he said.
He went on to emphasize that the Council shares the same worries about violence as all Mexican citizens, but is committed to its work promoting peace.
There have been three murders of Catholic priests in Mexico so far this year, and 18 since 2013. Those included killings during robberies, extortions and kidnappings, where it was not clear if the clerics were targeted because of their religion.