Aquino vows to arrest Philippine blast culprits

Philippine President Benigno Aquino promised Sunday security forces would arrest the culprits behind a grenade attack that left two people dead and at least 19 others hurt in the troubled south.

Aquino sought to allay public fears after the blast in a popular restaurant district in Iligan city on Saturday.

"If you are listening right now, it's better that you surrender now because we will not stop pursuing you and we will catch you," Aquino told reporters in a message to the attackers.

Aquino said a grenade was used in the attack and the man who threw it escaped in a van, but he did not specify a motive, saying police were working on two possibilities. He did not identify any group behind the attack.

He said the government's intelligence arm was assessing security threats across the country and was on constant alert.

Iligan lies on the north coast of Mindanao island. The region has been mired in a decades-long Muslim insurgency as well as bombings and kidnappings by Abu Sayyaf, a group founded with seed money from late Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in the 1990s.

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