At least 12 dead and 24 injured as bomb tears through busy market in Philippines president’s home town
- Blast happened at 11pm in a market in Davao City near one of its top hotels
- President Rodrigo Duterte – who lives in the city – was in Davao at the time
- The president, who has launched a ruthless crackdown on drugs, is safe
- Five men and five women were killed in blast, which is being investigated
- WARNING – GRAPHIC CONTENT
At least 12 people have been killed and another 24 injured after a bombing at a busy market in the Philippines.
Witnesses described hearing a loud bang before seeing smoke following the blast in Davao City on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao.
Controversial new president Rodrigo Duterte – who lives in the city – was in Davao at the time, but was far away from the area when the blast took place and is now safe at a police station.
Duterte – who has launched a violent crackdown on drugs since he was sworn in eight weeks ago – was recently the subject of an assassination attempt.
The blast happened in the massage area of a popular night market in Davao City
Five men and five women were killed in the explosion, the cause of which is not yet known
The incident took place at a street market outside the high-end Marco Polo hotel – one which Duterte is known to visit frequently.
Witnesses said the blast emanated from a massage area in the middle of the street, CNN Philippines reported .
Police Chief Superintendent Manuel Gaerlan said witnesses gave contrasting accounts, with some saying that a cooking gas tank exploded while others suggested it may have been some kind of an explosive.
At least five men and five women were killed.
Islamic militants and communist rebels have carried out deadly attacks in Davao, however authorities stressed it was too early to determine the cause of Friday’s blast.
‘Right now, we cannot yet give definite answer to questions as to who is behind this as we are also trying to determine what really exploded,’ the president’s son and Davao vice mayor, Paolo Duterte, said in a statement.
‘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.’
The vice mayor confirmed there were ‘at least’ 10 people who died, while city spokeswoman Catherine dela Rey said ‘at least 30 injured’.
City spokeswoman Catherine dela Rey said it was not yet known what caused the explosion
The Philippines controversial president Rodrigo Duterte is safe at a police station
Duterte, 71, had been mayor of the city for the past 20 years, but was elected as president in May this year.
Since then, he has focused his energies on the war on drugs – promising 100,000 people would die as part of his battle as he continues to urge people to kill anyone involved in narcotic crime.