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Blast wounds seven Individuals at public Marketplace in southern Philippines

An explosion in a public market in the southern Philippines injured at least seven individuals early on Saturday, the fourth largest burst in that region in 13 weeks, the army said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the explosion, but a militant group operating from the mostly Christian town of Isulan from the province of Sultan Kudarat was one of the suspects,” army said.

The most recent burst comes at a time of increased tensions in the southern Philippines following three episodes from the past year police mentioned were suicide bombings by militants linked to the Islamic State.

Video footage revealed Saturday’s explosion happened in a parking area for bicycles. A suspected improvised explosive device was set beside a parked bike, Important Arvin Encinas, a regional army spokesman, told reporters.

Mindanao is troubled by banditry and armed rebellions that maintain large areas of the region mired in poverty and uncertainty.

Islamist militants operate in the south of this predominantly Roman Catholic country, and a few are known to have connections with groups overseas, such as al Qaeda and Islamic State.