There were at least 32 people injured as two bomb blasts disrupted an amateur boxing match in the Philippines on Thursday. A large audience had plans to enjoy the boxing competition in the central Philippine town of Hilongos in the Leyte province at Rizal Plaza, as a part of the festivities scheduled at an annual Roman Catholic holiday festival.
UPI reported that President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines and the police have not given any indication that the bomb blasts were the work of a terrorist group like the Islamic State. No terrorist group has yet claimed credit for the blasts at the boxing match. The police have suggested that the bomb blasts might be a reaction by criminal elements to a recent “crack down on drugs, auto theft, and counterfeiting operations,” in Hilongos.
The second of the two bomb explosions was “weaker,” which put the number of wounded at 35. The first bomb exploded at approximately 9:15 p.m. The second bomb detonated just minutes later. Most of the people, who were injured in the blasts, suffered wounds below the knees. At least 10 of the victims were young children. They ranged in age from 7 to 15 years old.
According to the New York Times, 16 victims of the bomb blasts in the Philippines were admitted to area hospitals. Senior Inspector Jenyzen Enciso, the provincial police spokeswoman, said that the other 16 were treated for their injuries on the scene and then went home to recover.
Enciso added that the police have managed to recover a cellphone likely used to detonate the homemade bombs and an 81 mm mortar cartridge. Investigators have not made any arrests yet, as they are still trying to figure out who the attackers were, and if terrorism was potentially involved.
Forces in the Philippines “have been placed on alert” because of offensives that have taken place in the country’s southern region. The gunmen and members of the Islamic State have made the country’s capital, Manila, and other urban areas their targets in the past.
Two bomb blasts on Thursday injured at least 32 people, Forces in the Philippines have been engaged in battles against the Islamic State. In addition, communist guerrillas are in the Leyte province. However, neither of those groups have not claimed responsibility for the two bombings, authorities are beginning to think they are not involved. Instead, the bomb blasts could be the result of organized crime trying to get revenge on the police as a result of recent crackdowns on criminal activity.
By John Samuels