EU, US, France denounce Lamitan blast

MANILA The European Union (EU) on Thursday shared the sentiments of France and the United States in denouncing the blast in Lamitan, Basilan that killed at least 10 and injured seven others.

"I am saddened by the news regarding the terror attack which took place on 31 July in Basilan and has resulted in casualties, including civilians. I present my condolences to the families of the victims and have a friendly thought for the injured," EU Ambassador in Manila Franz Jessen said.

The envoy underscored that the 28-member bloc is one with countries affected by the threats of terrorism.

"The EU is determined to combat terrorism around the world and expresses solidarity with the countries that are affected by this scourge," he said.

France and the US earlier sent their condolences to the families of those who perished.

"France strongly condemns the terrorist attack which took place last July 31 in Basilan," the French Embassy in Manila said in a statement.

"France sends its condolences to the families of the victims and expresses its sympathy to the injured, and stands alongside the local authorities and the Filipino people in the fight against terrorism," it added.

Meanwhile, US Ambassador in Manila Sung Kim relayed Washington's statements on the attack.

"We join the Philippine government in condemning this terrorist act in the strongest terms and remain committed to working with Filipinos to further the causes of peace and prosperity," he said.

On Tuesday, an improvised explosive device inside a van exploded near Magwakit Detachment in Barangay Colonia, Lamitan City while the troops in the area were about to inspect the vehicle.

The blast which is believed to have been the handiwork of the Abu Sayyaff Group claimed 10 lives, including the driver of the van.

Among those who died were a soldier, four militiamen and four civilians, who were militia dependents.

Source: Philippine News Agency

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