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

A blast rocked the controvesial Philippine president's hometown as he arrived for a visit.

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - MAY 07:  Philippine presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte speaks during the final campaign rally ahead of Monday's election on May 7, 2016 in Manila, Philippines. Duterte, a tough-talking mayor of Davao in Mindanao has been the surprise pre-election poll favourite pulling away from his rivals despite controversial speeches and little national government experience. Opinion polls has shown Mr Duterte has maintained a clear lead in the Philippines as Senator Grace Poe looks at impossible odds. The Philippine presidential campaign ends on May 7 with elections slated for May 9 and features 5 presidential candidates vying for the top post.  (Photo by Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images)
MANILA, PHILIPPINES - MAY 07: Philippine presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte speaks during the final campaign rally ahead of Monday's election on May 7, 2016 in Manila, Philippines. Duterte, a tough-talking mayor of Davao in Mindanao has been the surprise pre-election poll favourite pulling away from his rivals despite controversial speeches and little national government experience. Opinion polls has shown Mr Duterte has maintained a clear lead in the Philippines as Senator Grace Poe looks at impossible odds. The Philippine presidential campaign ends on May 7 with elections slated for May 9 and features 5 presidential candidates vying for the top post. (Photo by Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images)

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

Siobhán O’Grady is a freelance journalist working across sub-Saharan Africa. She previously worked as a staff writer at Foreign Policy. @siobhan_ogrady

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