Soldiers and civilians killed in blasts at food plaza and church in southern Philippines (PHOTOS)

At least 11 people have been killed and 40 injured in a bombing attack in the city of Jolo in the Philippines while soldiers were helping with Covid-19 relief efforts. One of the attacks involved a female suicide bomber.

The first explosion occurred inside the Paradise Food plaza next to a computer shop in downtown Jolo at around 12.00am local time, killing five soldiers and five civilians, local media reported, citing the military.

Regional military commander Lieutenant General Corleto Vinluan said that the bomb was attached to a parked motorcycle.

About an hour later a female suicide bomber blew herself up outside the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel nearby, Vinluan said. The second explosion killed one soldier.

Photos from the scene show charred bodied lying on the street and rescuers treating the wounded. 

They also show soldiers deployed at the scene and a damaged army truck. 

No one has claimed the responsibility for the attack, but the southern Sulu Archipelago is a stronghold of the ISIS-linked Islamist insurgent group Abu Sayyaf. The group bombed the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel last year, killing 20 people.

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