No further information immediately available.
Published Monday, December 31, 2018
At least two people were killed and dozens wounded in an explosion outside a shopping mall in the southern Philippines Monday.
Cotabato City Police spokesman Christopher Lee told CNN there was a suspected "IED explosion" outside the South Seas Mall in Cotabato City on the island of Mindanao.
A spokeswoman for the Office of Civil Defense in General Santos City, Minda Morante, said two people were killed in the blast, with 23 injured, all of whom have been sent to local hospitals.
According to the official Philippine News Agency, police are still trying to determine "if the blast was caused by an improvised explosive device or illegal powerful firecrackers that accidentally went off in the area."
"We saw several people wounded and being rushed to the hospital," Police Supt. Romeo Galgo Jr. told PNA. "We are still conducting a post-blast investigation."
In a Facebook post Monday, Cotabato Mayor Frances Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi called the blast an "act against humanity."
"I strongly condemn the bombing incident that happened in front of South Seas Mall today, a day before the New Year, the took away several innocent lives and injured dozen others," she wrote.
"This is not just another terroristic act but an act against humanity. I cannot fathom how such evil exists in this time of merry making."
Mindanao, a province in the far south of the Philippines at the borders of Malaysia and Indonesia, has long been plagued by terrorism and unrest.
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