Eight killed in bomb blast at Philippines shopping mall

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A powerful blast ripped through three floors of a shopping mall in the heart of Manila's financial district yesterday, killing eight people, injuring scores of others and sending police and troops on the highest state of alert.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said that contrary to early police reports that the blast was caused by a fuel tank, "circumstances indicate it is highly probable that it was caused by an explosive device."

She said police and the military went on the highest alert and deployed an additional 2,000 personnel to secure public areas "to prevent a similar occurrence."

The 1:30pm explosion caused extensive damage throughout the glitzy Glorietta 2 mall, toppling roofs, destroying walls, and sending debris crashing onto cars outside.

At least eight people were killed and about 130 others were wounded, including a Korean woman with slight injuries, officials said.