Philippines: Bomb attack on Davao market kills 14

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Image caption,
At least 60 people were injured in the attack on a market in Davao, southern Philippines

At least 14 people have been killed in a bomb attack in the home city of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

Dozens more were wounded in the explosion at a packed market in the southern city of Davao.

A presidential spokesman said investigators had found shrapnel from a mortar-based improvised explosive device (IED) at the scene.

Police in the capital Manila are on high alert following the deadly blast.

At least 60 people were injured and 30 were taken to hospital.

The explosion took place outside the Marco Polo hotel in an area frequently visited by Mr Duterte, who was in Davao at the time but was not hurt.

Pictures released show broken glass and plastic chairs scattered at the scene, which has since been cordoned off by police bomb experts and investigators.

Mr Duterte has declared a "state of lawlessness" following the incident, which he said would allow troops to be deployed in cities and assist police with checkpoints.

He said: "These are extraordinary times and I supposed that I'm authorised to allow the security forces of this country to do searches."

A spokesman for the militant group Abu Sayyaf has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the president said authorities are considering the possibility that drug syndicates were behind it.

The region has been under a heightened security alert in recent weeks because of a military offensive against Abu Sayyaf.

Regional police chief Manuel Guerlan said a ring of checkpoints had been placed around the city's exit points.

"A thorough investigation is being conducted to determine the cause of the explosion," he said. "We call on all the people to be vigilant at all times."

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
President Rodrigo Duterte was in Davao at the time of the attack but was not hurt

On Monday at least 12 soldiers from the Philippines were killed during heavy fighting with militants in what was the deadliest day for Philippine troops since President Duterte was elected in May.

His election has prompted a spike in drug-related killings, with more than 2,000 deaths since he took office on 30 June, nearly half of them in police operations.

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