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Blast Rocks Controversial Philippine President’s Hometown as He Arrives for a Visit

Blast Rocks Controversial Philippine President’s Hometown as He Arrives for a Visit

At least 10 people are dead and another 60 injured after an explosion at a night market in the Philippine town of Davao, the hometown of controversial President Rodrigo Duterte.

It is unclear what caused the explosion and whether it was an accident or a targeted attack, but the blast coincided with Duterte’s arrival in Davao. He was nowhere near the scene at the time, and quickly sheltered at a police station.

The incident came just days after local media reported that Philippine police claimed they had foiled an assassination plot against Duterte, the loudmouthed president elected this summer who has launched an aggressive shoot-to-kill campaign against anyone suspected of drug-dealing.

“Right now, we cannot yet give a definite answer to as to who is behind this as we are also trying to determine what really exploded,” Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, the president’s son, said in a statement.

More than 2,000 people have been killed by the Philippine police this summer, prompting condemnation from human rights groups and the United Nations, which have called the aggressive campaign a violation of human rights.

This week, Duterte, who previously threatened to pulled the Philippines out of the U.N., turned down a request from Secretary General Ban ki-Moon to meet at a summit in Laos next week. According to U.N. officials, the meeting would have focused on his war on drugs.

Photo credit: Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images