UPDATE 12:45PM :
Multiple media outlets are now reporting at least a dozen deaths in the bombing of the night market in the home city of President Rodrigo Duterte in the southern Philippines.
“There was an explosion but as to what caused it, it is still under investigation,” city spokeswoman Catherine dela Rey told AFP news agency “Ten people died on the spot….”
“We were inside one of the university buildings when we heard the loud explosion,” student John Rhyl L Sialmo III told Al Jazeeratudent at Ateneo de Davao University, said.
“There were so many people, because it was a night market and also because it’s a Friday,” he continued, “the rescuers had to use improvised bandages on the victims”.
“One woman rushed to the university to ask for help and she said she saw bodies and body parts laying around,” he said. “She looked very traumatized.”
Suffice is to say, that the city of Davao is in shock and our best to victims and their families.
The beautiful archipelago that is the island nation of the Philipines has once again been rocked by a presumed terror attack. A busy market saw itself explode into chaos in the city of Davao, the hometown of the recently-elected President Rodrigo Duterte, tonight.
The blast, which occurred around 10:20PM local time, is believed to have been centered in the massage parlor district of the bustling Roxas Night Market which is forever busy on Friday nights in this city of 1.6 million people.
CNN Philippines is reporting that no less than 10 people have been killed with another 60+ injured with a death toll that is unfortunately expected to rise given the extent of the injuries that many have suffered.
“Rest assured the authorities are on top of this incident. Right now, we cannot yet give a definite answer as to who is behind this as we are also trying to determine what really exploded,” said Paolo Duterte, vice mayor of Davao and son of the country’s president.
It’s reported that President Duarte is en route to the site of the blast once his security detail has deemed it safe.
While the Philippines has struggled with the rising tide of Islamic militancy in the past, many are speculating that the explosion may be a response to Duterte’s “war on drugs” that has seen thousands killed in this year alone.