Two explosions rock Philippine tourist island


MANILA — Philippine police reports that three people were injured in hotel and bus depot blasts on Philippine tourist island of Palawan on Thursday.

According to AFP, the authorities said they did not know the motive of the late-afternoon attacks, which occurred during the peak tourist season outside a hotel in El Nido town and near a bus depot in Puerto Princesa city.

A hotel cook was injured in the El Nido blast, which occurred 10 minutes before the other explosion slightly injured a rickshaw driver and a woman in Puerto Princesa, about 175 kilometres (109 miles) away, a police report said.

“The type of explosives used were not yet determined as of this time,” according to a report by local police sent to the regional police headquarters in neighbouring Mindoro island.

AFP reports that the El Nido blast struck a hotel called the Entalula Beach Resort, though no tourists were reported hurt.

Local television network GMA carried pictures on its website of the front of the El Nido hotel cordoned off with yellow police tape and a uniformed officer standing on what appeared to be garbage scattered across the street.

The police report did not say what sort of injuries the Entalula hotel cook sustained.

El Nido police chief, Inspector Analyn Palma, could not be reached for comment by AFP.

The regional police report said the rickshaw driver in Puerto Princesa suffered bruises to the forehead and unspecified injuries on the ankle, while the woman casualty there was also injured in the ankle.

All three victims were taken to local hospitals for treatment, the police report said.

Palawan, and El Nido in particular, are major Philippine tourist draws with its beaches and spectacular rock formations.

Attractions include a famous underground river that passes through a cave near Puerto Princesa, the provincial capital, that was selected as one of the “New Seven Wonders of Nature” in a global poll last year.

The blasts occurred as Filipinos trooped to the beaches and other holiday destinations on Maundy Thursday, the start of five days of Easter holidays in the mainly Catholic nation.