COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / June 29, 2009) – A roadside bombing Monday left one person dead and at least 7 more wounded in the troubled province of Maguindanao in the southern Philippines, reports said.
Officials said the bombing occurred at around 6 a.m. near a market in the predominantly Muslim town of Datu Saudi Ampatuan, where security forces are battling Moro Islamic Liberation Front guerrillas.
Radio Mindanao Network said one person was killed in the blast and seven more wounded in the village of Kitango.
No individual or group claimed responsibility for the blast, but the military is expected to put the blamed on the MILF, which is fighting the last three decades for self-determination in Mindanao.
The MILF denied it was behind the bombing and said soldiers planted the explosive as part of a campaign to discredit the rebel group. “Villagers saw soldiers arrived in the area at dawn and there was an explosion several hours later,” Eid Kabalu, a senior MILF leader, told the Mindanao Examiner.
The rebel group previously accused the soldiers as behind the spate of bombings and burning of houses in the province and other areas in the Muslim autonomous region.
There was no immediate statement from the military. (Mindanao Examiner)