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Bomb in van kills 11 at checkpoint in Philippines

Men carry the remains of a victim in an explosion in Lamitan, Basilan province, southern Philippines on July 31. (AP)

MANILA: A bomb exploded in a van and killed 11 people at a military checkpoint in the restive southern Philippines on Tuesday in an attack that officials blamed on militants with ties to the Islamic State group. A suspected bomber, a soldier, five paramilitaries and four civilians, including a mother and her child, were killed and seven people were wounded, an army spokesman said.

The blast occurred on the island of Basilan moments after troops stopped the vehicle and spoke to the driver, who was alone in the van and likely detonated the bomb, the military said. Basilan is a stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf group, which is notorious for kidnapping and banditry, and was the home of the former “emir” of Islamic State in Southeast Asia, who Philippine troops killed last year after a hunt of more than 15 years.

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