Philippines bomb: Davao attack blamed on Abu Sayyaf

EDITED BY KALAHAN DENG

The Abu Sayyaf militant group was responsible for a bomb attack in the home city of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte which killed at least 14 people, the government has said.

Dozens were wounded in the blast at a market in the southern city of Davao.

Mr Duterte – who was in Davao at the time of the blast but was not near the market – has declared a “state of lawlessness” following the explosion.

This allows troops to be based in cities to assist the police.

National Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that Abu Sayyaf wanted to retaliate after suffering heavy casualties on its stronghold of Jolo island about 900km (560 miles) from Davao.”We have predicted this – and warned our troops accordingly,” Mr Lorenzana said in a statement.

President Rodrigo Duterte (centre, in blue) visiting injured victims of a bomb blast
Image captionPresident Rodrigo Duterte (centre, in blue) has visited victims of the blast

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

At least 60 people were injured.

The explosion took place in an area frequently visited by Mr Duterte.

Broken glass and plastic chairs were scattered at the scene.

“The force just hurled me. I practically flew in the air,” witness Adrian Abilanosa told the AFP news agency.