Five dead in Philippine blasts

The Philippine military condemned two bomb attacks on Thursday that hit a row of shopping centres in the southern city of Zamboanga as a “terrorist act.”

The explosions killed at least five people and wounded at least 20 others.

“We will get to the bottom of this. We condemn this terrorist act,” Lieutenant General Narciso Abaya, who had just taken command of the military operations here, told reporters.

He would not blame a specific group for the attacks.

The first bomb went off at the Shop-o-Rama department store in the city at about 11:40 am local time, killing at least three people, reports.

Shortly afterwards, as police were defusing another bomb at the same location, a second bomb exploded at another department store about a block away, killing at least one person and wounding several others. Police described the bombs as incendiary explosive devices, CNN said.

There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the blasts.

Two other deadly bomb attacks here and in Kidapawan city earlier this month have been blamed on the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Abu Sayyaf Islamist group, linked by both Washington and Manila to the al-Qaida network. - Sapa-AFP

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