(Eagle News) — A suspected bomb blast in front of a local eatery along a national highway in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat on Wednesday, April 3, wounded at least 18 people, including children.
Police said the loud explosion happened outside a small restaurant serving chicken at 3:15 in the afternoon, local time, in Barangay Kalawag 2 in Isulan town shattering the windows in front of the eatery and wounding 18 persons.
In a spot report on the explosion, Police Lt. Col. Junny Buenacosa of the Isulan municipal police station said that the 18 injured were “immediately brought to the different nearby hospitals for their medical treatment”
An Agence France Presse report said the shattered windows hit family members gathered for an event, quoting Mayor Marites Pallasigue.
The southern Philippines is plagued by multiple armed groups ranging from communist insurgents to Islamic State-aligned jihadists, which leave the area mired in poverty and violence.
Police cordoned off the area outside the shattered facade of the restaurant as a probe began into who was responsible.
“The bomb was placed at the back of the air conditioner,” said Pallasigue.
“Most the victims are related to each other,” she added.
No deaths have been reported.
On a neighbouring island to the south of Mindanao, an IS-claimed attack in January on a cathedral during a Catholic Sunday mass that killed 21 and wounded about a hundred others.
The bombing cast a shadow over a vote less than a week earlier to give Muslims in the south of the Philippines greater resources and control over their affairs.
The explosion Wednesday in Isulan happened just a few meters from the site of a deadly blast which occurred last year and was believed to have been carried out by Islamist militants.
(with a report by Agence France-Presse)