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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Blast Rocks Philippine Congress

MANILA, Philippines -- An explosion rocked the Philippine Congress on Tuesday in a suspected assassination of a Muslim lawmaker that also killed one other person, injured several more and unnerved the country's capital.

Wahab Akbar, who represented the restive southern island of Basilan, died from his injuries in a local hospital, after an explosion tore up the southern entrance of the House of Representatives.

"From what we saw, it looks like Congressman Akbar was the target of the attack," Manila's police chief Geary Barias told local radio.

The driver of another legislator was also killed and around eight people, including at least two lawmakers, were injured in the blast which tore the roof off the southern entrance of Congress.

"It was definitely a bomb or a command detonated explosive," said Jose de Venecia, the speaker of the lower house. "This is definitely the handiwork of terrorists or extremists or anarchists."

Akbar was a three-term governor of Basilan before winning a seat in the House of Representatives this year. The island has been used as a base by Muslim terror group Abu Sayyaf.

The largely Catholic Philippines has vowed to destroy the group, which was responsible for the country's worst terror attack, the bombing of a ferry in 2004 which killed over 100 people.

De Venecia said that if the police gave the Congress the all-clear, the lower house would open as normal on Wednesday.