Bomb, Hidden Under A Motorcycle, Kills 2, Wounds 37 In Philippines

Bomb, Hidden Under A Motorcycle, Kills 2, Wounds 37 In Philippines

Bomb, Hidden Under A Motorcycle, Kills 2, Wounds 37 In Philippines

Reacting to reports of bomb explosion in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat on Tuesday evening that left 2 killed and 36 wounded, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said another extension of martial law in Mindanao is an option.

The powerful device detonated near a night market in the town of Isulan, sending festival-goers fleeing in terror, AFP reported.

A man left the improvised bomb in a bag near a grocery store as crowds gathered to celebrate the town's founding anniversary but he and an accomplice escaped, the military said.

The death toll rose to two, and the commander said at least one of those wounded in the bombing was in serious condition.

The attack, claimed by the Islamic State group, is the latest violence in the south of the majority Catholic archipelago, where Islamist militants have been fighting a decades-long insurgency.

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"It's obvious that the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters with links to ISIS has the strongest desire to initiate these kind of attacks", said Army Captain Arvin Encinas.

"Despite our intensified checkpoint operations, there are many entry points, thus the bomb courier was able to reach the area", he said.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for that bombing and authorities believe the man behind the wheel of the explosives-laden van may have meant to target a nearby children's parade.

Mindanao remains under martial law until the end of the year following a five-month occupation Marawi City in 2017 by an alliance of rebels loyal to Islamic State, in which the military prevailed.

The bomber remained at large, and no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

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