Pipe bomb blast in Manila injures 14 as Asean leaders gather for talks

Police officers investigate on the blast site in Quiapo, Manila on April 28, 2017, after a homemade pipe bomb exploded. PHOTO: AFP

MANILA (AFP) - Fourteen people were wounded in a pipe bomb blast in Manila, Philippine police said on Saturday (April 29), but authorities dismissed any link to an Asian leaders' meeting under way in the capital.

The explosion happened late Friday about 5km from the heavily guarded complex where leaders of the Association of South-east Asian nations (Asean) are meeting and police said they were investigating the possibility that it was a revenge assault.

A relative of a 14-year-old boy injured in an attack in the same area by a group of youths earlier in the week had made public threats, police spokesman Chief Inspector Kimberly Molitas said.

She described the device as a "homemade pipe bomb" stuffed with low-grade explosives, like the ones used to make firecrackers.

No one has been arrested.

"The incident is not in any way connected to or directed (at) the ongoing Asean summit," Ernesto Abella, spokesman for President Rodrigo Duterte, said in a statement.

"We assure our people that security measures are in place in today's event and ask the public for their full understanding and cooperation in this regard."

The Philippines is fighting Islamic militants based in the country's south who have been blamed by police in the past for deadly bombings as well as kidnappings.

Of the 14 people hurt, six were treated for minor wounds and sent home, while eight others remain in hospital, two of them with serious injuries, Molitas said.

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