Twin Philippine bombings wound 33

Victims of the blast, which occurred in the town plaza at Hilongos, in Leyte province, getting emergency treatment at a local hospital on Wednesday (Dec 28).
Victims of the blast, which occurred in the town plaza at Hilongos, in Leyte province, getting emergency treatment at a local hospital on Wednesday (Dec 28).PHOTO: THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ ASIA NEWS NETWORK

MANILA (AFP) – At least 33 people have been injured in two separate bomb attacks in the Philippines, authorities said on Thursday  (Dec 29).

In the first incident, two bombs exploded late on  Wednesday in the central island of Leyte, wounding 27 people who were watching a boxing match in Hilongos, police said.

Another unexploded bomb was also found in the town, which is about 620 kilometres  south of Manila, said the town’s mayor Albert Villahermosa.

A bomb went off on a highway on the southern island of Mindanao barely an hour later, wounding six people, the military said.

“A lamppost was catapulted from the impact of the explosion,” said Lieutenant Colonel Edgar Delos Reyes.

The blast in Aleosan, hundreds of kilometres south of Hilongos, was close to the site of a Christmas Eve church bombing that injured 13.

Police said it was too early to say if the Wednesday bombings were connected or what the perpetrators’ motives might be.

Mindanao has been wracked by bombings and other forms of violence carried out by Muslim extremists who consider the region as their ancestral homeland, leading to separatist conflicts with the majority-Christian government.

Muslim extremists have also been blamed for bombings outside Mindanao, such as the discovery of a bomb near the US embassy in Manila in November.

In the deadliest recent such attack, 15 people were killed in an explosion in President Rodrigo Duterte’s hometown of Davao in Mindanao in September.