World / Asia-Pacific

10 killed, 60 wounded in blast in Philippine president home city

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-09-03 04:44

DAVAO CITY, Philippines  -- At least 10 people have been confirmed dead and scores others wounded in an explosion in the hometown of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday night, officials said on Saturday, amid fears the toll could further rise.

Aside from the fatalities, some 60 others were rushed to different hospitals following the blast in downtown Davao City, according to presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella.

The blast of still unknown origin happened as thousands of people were shopping at the night market along Roxas Avenue just across the Catholic-run Ateneo de Davao University around 10:30 p.m. local time, said Captain Rhyan Batchar, regional army spokesperson.

"An explosion hit in front of the Ateneo de Davao university. There were many fatalities," Batchar told Xinhua by phone.

Duterte was in the presidential guesthouse in Panacan village, some 15 kilometers away when the explosion happened, his aides said.

The tough-talking Philippine leader, who had been mayor in the city with 1.2 million people for over 20 years before winning the presidency in May, was expected to go to the site of the incident, officials said.

Friday's incident was the latest in the southern Philippine city since 2005 when suspected Islamist terrorists set off a bomb in a bus terminal in Ecoland village, killing a child and wounding five others.

Police said they could not yet determine if the latest blast was caused by a bomb and an investigation was now underway.

In 2003, more than 30 people were killed and over 130 others wounded when alleged Muslim insurgents bombed the city's old airport and passenger harbor within a month.

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