At Least 10 Dead, 60 Injured in Davao City Night Market Blast

Manila, Philippines, 01 Dzulhijjah 1437/03 September 2016 (MINA) — A powerful blast at Davao City’s night market late Friday night killed at least 10 people while around 60 others got wounded amid a security alert due to a major offensive against the Abu Sayyaf in the region, officials said.

“An explosion of still unverified cause occurred at the Davao night market resulting in the death of at least 10 persons and around 60 people injured,” The Star quoted presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella as saying.

Some media reports, however, said 12 people were dead, while at least 24 got wounded.

Lt. Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero, commander of the Armed Forces’ Eastern Mindanao Command, said it was not immediately clear what caused the explosion at a massage section of the night market, which was cordoned off by police bomb experts and investigators.

TV footage showed plastic chairs strewn about at the scene of the blast, where witnesses said the bodies of some of the dead lay scattered a few hours after the explosion. Ambulance vans drove to and from the area following the blast.


No any statement issued

Duterte, who served as a longtime mayor of Davao before assuming the presidency in June, was in the region but has not issued any statement. Abella urged the public to be vigilant.

“While no one has yet claimed responsibility it is best that the populace refrain from reckless speculation and avoid crowded places,” Abella said.

“There is no cause for alarm, but it is wise to be cautious.”

Meanwhile, Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte asked the public to go home and the bars to close down.

“It’s a sad day for Davao and for the Philippines,” he said.

“Let us pray for the victims of this unfortunate incident, especially for those who died. Let us pray for those who are being treated in different hospitals and pray for their quick recovery.”

Philippine forces were on alert amid an ongoing military offensive against Abu Sayyaf extremists in southern Sulu province, which intensified last week after the militants beheaded a kidnapped young villager.

The militants threatened to launch an unspecified attack after the military said 30 of the gunmen were killed in the massive offensive. (T/R07/R01)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)