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Islamic State claims powerful bomb attack in southern Philippines

Islamic State claims powerful bomb attack in southern Philippines

He said one soldier, four government militiamen, four relatives of paramilitary members, and the suspect who drove the van were killed when homemade bombs packed inside a vehicle exploded at a security checkpoint in Lamitan, Basilan.

A suspected bomber, a soldier, five paramilitary troopers and four civilians, including a mother and her child, were killed and seven people were wounded in the blast, an army spokesman said.

At least 10 people were killed and five critically injured when a auto bomb exploded early on Tuesday in Basilan, an island province in the southern Philippines.

Authorities said the group, which was set up in the 1990s, is thought to be holding a number of hostages which they keep in the jungles of Basilan and Sulu, their stronghold. "That's their death wish - the more, the merrier".

ISIS, through a statement carried by its news agency, claimed responsibility for the Tuesday "suicide bombing" attack.

The villagers who died in the explosion included relatives of militiamen assigned at the outpost. When the driver apparently wanted to restart the engine, the militiamen looked inside and saw suspicious strands of wire inside the van and called a group of rangers. "When I looked again everyone was dead".

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A military report said the attack occurred at 5:50 a.m. local time in a village in Lamitan City on Basilan, an island province off Mindanao.

Basilan is a stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf group, which is notorious for kidnapping and banditry, and home of the former "emir" of ISIS in Southeast Asia, who was killed a year ago.

Government forces have been put on alert in the south, scene of decades-long Muslim separatist unrest, after President Rodrigo Duterte signed a new autonomy agreement last week with the biggest Muslim rebel group in the country.

The peace deal has been opposed by much smaller but violent extremist bands like Abu Sayyaf and others which have aligned themselves with Islamic State.

Black smoke rises above a mosque in Marawi city, southern Philippines as it tried to wipe out militants linked to the Islamic State group a year ago.


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