A powerful blast ripped through three floors of a shopping mall in the heart of Manila's financial district, killing eight people and wounding about 130, authorities said.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said it was "highly probable" the blast Friday was caused by an explosive device, and National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales said authorities were looking into whether it was a terrorist attack, but added "there is no conclusive evidence yet."
Al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf militants have waged a yearslong bombing campaign in the southern Philippines in their aim to establish a separate state for the majority Muslims in the region. Abu Sayyaf and the Indonesia-based Jemaah Islamiyah network have also launched attacks in Manila.
Thirteen people were wounded when the same mall was bombed seven years ago, an attack officials said was the work of Muslim extremists.