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Police: Jolo, Sulu hit by huge explosion

A huge explosion transpired in Jolo, Sulu on Monday.

Police Regional Office - Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao chief Police Brigadier General Manuel Abu told GMA News Online that the incident happened in Barangay Walled City at 11:40 a.m.

Abu said the number of casualties arising from the incident is still being determined.

According to a police report from PRO BARMM, the explosion went off at Paradise Food Shop beside a computer shop. 

Elements from the Jolo Municipal Police Station rushed to the area to evacuate the casualties of the said blast. The PNP EOD team also responded in the incident. 

Joint Task Force Sulu spokesman Captain Rex Payot said military forces were assisting local government officials in their COVID-19 response efforts when the blast happened. 

"While conducting security support in this operation, biglang sumabog itong bomba," Payot told GMA News Online. 

Payot said the number of casualties is still undetermined. 

"Sabihin ko na may mga casualties talaga tayo doon. I don't know kung ilan ang sugatan," Payot said. "As of now we are responding kung ano puwede namin maitulong." 

The military official also said authorities have yet to determine what kind of bomb exploded in Jolo. 

Meanwhile, citing information from the Philippine Army's Western Mindanao Command chief Major General Corleto Vinluan, Senator Francis Tolentino said two soldiers were killed in the incident.

"Kausap ko po si Gen. Vinluan. Dalawang sundalo kaagad natin ang nasawi. Namamalengke sila, at market day ngayon ng tropa sa Jolo," Tolentino said. —RSJ/KG, GMA News