2 dead, 23 wounded in blast outside Philippines shopping mall

At least two people were killed in an explosion outside a busy shopping mall in the southern Philippines Mon...

Posted: Dec 31, 2018 4:17 PM
Updated: Dec 31, 2018 4:17 PM

At least two people were killed in an explosion outside a busy 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.

Asia

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Consumer behavior

Continents and regions

Economic indicators

Economy and economic indicators

Philippines

Retail and wholesale trade

Shopping centers

Southeast Asia

Abu Sayyaf Group

International relations and national security

Misc organizations

National security

Terrorism

Terrorism and counter-terrorism

Unrest, conflicts and war

Accidents, disasters and safety

Explosions

Bombings

Another 34 people were injured in the blast, three of whom were in critical condition, local police spokesman Chief Inspector Rowell Zafra said.

Zafra added that a second, smaller improvised explosive device was discovered in the second-floor baggage area of the mall, and was detonated safely by authorities.

A lockdown that was put in place for the city after the bomb exploded has since been lifted, but additional troops have been deployed across Cotabato in a push to increase security.

Jewel Blake H. Lumasag, a local pastor who lives in Cotabato City, said he was on his way to the mall when the explosion hit. He told CNN police made him leave the area over fears there was another bomb.

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 [sic] 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."

History of terror

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.

In July, at least 10 people were killed when militants linked to the Abu Sayyaf terror group struck a military checkpoint with a car bomb.

The province is home to several Islamist insurgent groups, including Abu Sayyaf, which has been blamed for a number of attacks on civilians and Philippine government troops, as well as the kidnapping of several foreign nationals.

Abu Sayyaf -- alongside the Maute group, another Mindanao-based terror organization -- was responsible for the invasion and occupation of Marawi, the country's biggest Muslim-majority city, in 2016.

Earlier this year, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte approved the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), creating an autonomous region in majority-Muslim areas of Mindanao.

The law, which gives greater independence and autonomy to Muslims in the predominantly Catholic Philippines, is the culmination of decades-long peace negotiations between Mindanao-based rebel groups, including the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the national government, according to CNN Philippines.

Duterte has said that he would not negotiate with Abu Sayyaf or other Islamist militant groups.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1686993

Reported Deaths: 48247
CountyCasesDeaths
Queens2172658903
Kings2169639239
Suffolk1658793120
Nassau1519702951
Bronx1482105943
Westchester1099512122
New York1068643974
Erie666041616
Richmond585451602
Monroe53274997
Rockland39546896
Orange38029730
Onondaga32733636
Dutchess22900413
Albany21180334
Oneida19896481
Niagara15508315
Broome15384339
Saratoga12190148
Schenectady11010178
Ulster10279231
Rensselaer9205132
Putnam853986
Chautauqua7425125
Chemung6480130
Oswego610689
Ontario589890
St. Lawrence568990
Steuben5581138
Cayuga542889
Jefferson489163
Sullivan486360
Herkimer4601107
Wayne452865
Cattaraugus448977
Genesee4473118
Madison389385
Clinton376127
Livingston359956
Tompkins350943
Columbia344396
Fulton342485
Montgomery3244107
Cortland323160
Allegany292481
Warren290755
Wyoming287949
Tioga285456
Greene270071
Chenango248770
Orleans247282
Otsego247043
Washington239754
Franklin216012
Lewis209630
Seneca164853
Delaware157333
Essex136326
Schoharie124313
Yates102326
Schuyler87212
Hamilton2852
Unassigned16099
Out of NY0194
Rome
Clear
17° wxIcon
Hi: 26° Lo: 5°
Feels Like: 17°
Binghamton
Clear
19° wxIcon
Hi: 26° Lo: 11°
Feels Like: 12°
Rome
Clear
17° wxIcon
Hi: 27° Lo: 8°
Feels Like: 17°
Rome
Partly Cloudy
17° wxIcon
Hi: 22° Lo: -2°
Feels Like: 17°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Foodie Fridays Rosa's 50% 0ff - Now thru March 18
Submit your Mutt Madness Picture through March 10th
March into Beautiful Skin Giveaway
Under 100 2021 Golf Cards left!
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve