34 hurt in Leyte fiesta blast


Posted at Dec 29 2016 08:07 AM | Updated as of Dec 29 2016 02:52 PM

Police line surrounds the site where two bombs exploded, injuring 34 fiesta revelers in Hilongos, Leyte. Ranulfo Docdocan, ABS-CBN News

At least 34 people were wounded when two homemade bombs ripped through the packed plaza of Hilongos, Leyte during the celebration of the town fiesta on Wednesday night.

Two 81-mm mortars were used in the 9 p.m. explosion, said Senior Superintendent Superintendent Franco Simborio, chief of the Leyte police.

The bombs, he added, were planted near a boxing ring where townspeople were waiting for the start of a boxing match.

The 34 victims were brought to different hospitals in Hilongos, Maasin and Tacloban in Leyte.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) said they are treating the Leyte fiesta blast and another bombing incident in Aleosan, North Cotabato as "separate incidents."

"We will treat these two incidents as separate unless there will be information that these are connected," PNP spokesperson Sr. Supt. Dionardo Carlos said in an interview on ANC's Headstart.

Bomb experts are now checking for "signatures" on the improvised explosive devices (IED) to see if the materials and the manner it was made are similar, Carlos added.

"The IED in Hilongos was an 81-mm mortar so we will see who has access to this kind of mortar heads," Carlos said.

The PNP has increased the number of cops deployed in Hilongos and Aleosan.

Check points have been set up in a bid to arrest the bombers, he said.

-- with reports from Ranulfo Docdocan, ABS-CBN News