Two months after the US and other Western countries renewed travel advisories in the Philippines, a bus exploded in the country's financial capital, Makati, that killed four and injured 13 people on Tuesday afternoon, authorities told AFP.
Radio interviews of passengers said that they saw some victims whose legs were amputated after the explosion. It was also confirmed that three men and one woman were confirmed dead as of this time.
No motive has yet been reported as of this time. The explosion followed a series of carnap with murder cases in Metro Manila over the past few days.
An unnamed senator said that the explosion could have been a diversionary tactic following the recent murder cases in Metro Manila that allegedly involve the cops, a radio report said.
President Benigno Aquino III, in a press conference, condemned the explosion and assured the public that the authorities are investigating the case. He said that they are not ruling out terrorist attack.
The governments of Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, the UK and US have renewed their travel ban in November against the southeast Asia nation that a terrorist attack was imminent in Manila.
The travel advisory was strongly criticized by Aquino who said the ban was not based on firm intelligence.
According to police chief Nicanor Belmonte, the bomb must have been placed in the middle of the bus. The injured had been brought to hospitals.
The bus traveled along the busy roads of the country's capital.
Former Makati mayor and now Vice President Jejomar Binay who arrived early at the crime scene said, "The explosion was powerful. I believe it is a bomb. We have two dead now."
The US advisory said, "Terrorist attacks could be indiscriminate and could occur not only in the southern islands but also in other areas, to include Manila."
The advisory also warned that the targeted sites may be public gathering places that are frequented by expatriates and foreign travelers, including American citizens.
"Such sites could include, but are not limited to, airports, shopping malls, conference centers and other public venues."
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