Six people die in bomb attacks in the Philippines

15 people were also wounded in the two separate explosions

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The Independent Online

At least six people have been killed and 15 others wounded in two separate bomb attacks in the Philippines, authorities have said.

A homemade device exploded at a kiosk in Basilan province's Sumisip township, killing six people and wounding 10 others during a New Year's party late on Tuesday, according to armed forces spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala.

Mr Zagala said the blast was unrelated to the revelry that is customary in the country. Largely influenced by Chinese tradition, many Filipinos believe that raucous New Year's celebrations drive away misfortune, and set off huge firecrackers and fire guns despite dangers and threats of arrest.

“This is really an improvised explosive device,” he said, adding the motive was yet unknown.

Hours earlier, a mother, her three children, and another girl, were wounded by a motorcyclist who hurled a grenade outside a Protestant church in Carmen, in the Cotabato province.

Police said three men on two motorcycles were seen speeding away.

Captain Antonio Bulao, a local army spokesman, said the culprits may have planned to attack a nearby local police outpost, but may have decided to throw the grenade at a weaker target.

Additional reporting by Associated Press