One dead in Philippine blast

Manila: One person has been killed and 15 others injured after a bomb exploded in the Philippine city of Isulan, army said.

Commander of the 6th Infantry Division, Cirilito Sobejana, confirmed to the media that an improvised explosive device was used in the late Sunday blast outside a department store in the city centre, Xinhua news agency reported.

The blast late on Sunday was the second such incident in a week. Three persons were killed and over 30 were injured on August 28 in a similar incident during the harvest festival celebrations.

No armed group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. However, authorities pointed to the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), an ally of the Islamic State (IS), who have already taken responsibility for the bombing that took place five days earlier.

National Police Chief Oscar Albayalde on Monday said vigil has been increased in the Muslim-majority region of Mindanao, known as Bangsamoro, which has suffered four attacks in a month.

On August 31, a group of armed unidentified men kidnapped the head of a civilian armed movement and his wife from Sirawi town in Bangsamoro, where they murdered six other people.

The attacks have come after the government of Rodrigo Duterte approved late in July the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which extends the autonomy of the area with the aim of establishing peace and putting an end to decades of separatist conflict.

This law was necessary to implement the peace agreement signed in 2014 with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the country’s largest Muslim rebel group, which will govern the region in exchange for giving up their armed struggle and renouncing its independence aspirations.