IS claims Philippine blast

MANILA: The Islamic State militant group has claimed responsibility for an explosion at a public market in the southern Philippines that wounded at least seven people early on Saturday.

The group issued a statement saying the motorcycle bombing had wounded seven Filipino Christians at a public market. It was the fourth blast in the area in 13 months, according to the Philippine military, which said a militant group operating in the mostly Christian city of Isulan in the province of Sultan Kudarat was among the suspects.

The latest blast comes at a time of heightened tensions in the volatile southern Philippines after three incidents in the past year authorities said were suicide bombings by militants linked to the Islamic State. Video footage showed Saturday’s blast occurred in a parking space for motorcycles. A suspected improvised explosive device was placed beside a parked motorcycle, Major Arvin Encinas, a regional military spokesman, told reporters.- Reuters