14 Dead in Market Blast in the Davao, Philippines

An eyewitness told Al Jazeera that the rescuers had to use improvised bandages on the victims An eyewitness told Al Jazeera that the rescuers had to use improvised bandages on the victims EPA/Cerilo Ebrano

2 September 2016
In Davao, about 1000 km south of Manila, 14 people died and over 60 more were wounded after a blast went off at the night market.

The injured were taken to the Southern Philippines Medical Center for aid. Davao is one of the biggest cities in the south of the Philippines with approximately two million inhabitants. It was discovered that a mortar-based improvised explosive device (IED) was used during the attack.

The bomb detonated near the Marco Polo Hotel, often visited by Philippine’s president Rodrigo Duterte. Although Duterte was in Davao at the time, he remained unscathed during the blast. It was reported that a group known as the Abu Sayyaf, militants devoted to the Islamic State group, were responsible for the bombing in Davao. Two suspects were caught on camera.

It has been rumored that there was a plot in the making to assassinate Duterte due to his determination of wiping out the drug circulation eminent in the Philippines. Under his presidency, over 2,000 drug users and pushers have been killed. Therefore, Duterte has also speculated that there might be a correlation between drug gangs and the attack; however no evidence has been found to connect the two.

Following the blast, Duterte missed his first overseas expedition in order to proclaim a “state of lawlessness”, which gave more power to the military to search vehicles at checkpoints. Moreover, approximately 2,500 more troops were deployed after the bombing to increase security and defense from any future attacks.


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