Sunday, April 27, 2008

Homemade Bomb Explodes In Southern Philippines

COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Apr. 27, 2008) – A homemade bomb exploded at a bus depot in the southern Philippines, but authorities said there were no reports of casualties.

The blast, however, damaged a commuter bus parked at the depot in the town of Midsayap in the province of North Cotabato, a known hotbed of Muslim and communist insurgencies in Mindanao.

Military and police reports said the explosive, assembled from a mortar round, was left near the bus, owned by Weena Transit, late on Saturday.

No group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack, but authorities previously blamed similar bombings to the group called Al-Khobar, a gang of criminals extorting money from bus firms, the Abu Sayyaf and the communist New People’s Army rebels.

The larger Moro Islamic Liberation Front is also active in the province and has been linked by Filipino authorities in past bombings in the southern Philippines. The MILF repeatedly denied such accusations and is currently negotiating peace with Manila.

Last year, a homemade bomb explosion ripped through a provincial bus depot in Cotabato City killing three people and injuring 15 others. About half of the casualties were children, police said. (Mindanao Examiner)

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