2 dead, 23 injured in Philippines blast

Cotabato [Philippines], Dec 31 (ANI): At least two people were killed and 23 others injured in an explosion outside a shopping mall in Cotabato city on Monday. CNN quoted Cotabato City Police spokesman Christopher Lee as saying, "There was a suspected IED explosion outside the South Seas Mall in Cotabato City on the island of Mindanao." The injured people have been taken to local hospitals, said a spokeswoman for the Office of Civil Defense in General Santos City, Minda Morante. Citing Philippine News Agency, CNN stated that the police are still trying to determine whether the blast was caused by an improvised explosive device or by illegal powerful firecrackers that accidentally went off in the area. Meanwhile, Cotabato Mayor Frances Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi condemned the incident terming it "act against humanity". "I strongly condemn the bombing incident that happened in front of South Seas Mall today, a day before the New Year, the took away several innocent lives and injured dozen others. This is not just another terroristic act but an act against humanity. I cannot fathom how such evil exists in this time of merry making," she wrote on Facebook.
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