Wednesday, March 29, 2006

7 Injured In New Bombing In Southern Philippines

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Zamboanga Journal / 29 Mar) A homemade bomb exploded inside a passenger bus on Wednesday, wounding as many as 7 people in the southern Philippine city of Digos near Davao del Sur province, where communist insurgents are actively operating, police and military said.

The blast occurred shortly before noontime as the vehicle, owned by Weena Transit, was returning to the city's bus depot from Davao. At least 7 people were injured in the explosion, police said.

Other reports said more than a dozen people, mostly sidewalk vendors, were hurt in the blast.

A military report said the bomb was probably made from ammonium nitrate, a banned chemical fertilizer commonly used by insurgents to make homemade explosives. Several buses were also damaged from the explosion.

It was not immediately known how many passengers were in the bus when the explosion occurred. But military and police investigators said they found traces of the chemical explosive at the rear of the bus, where the bomb was believed planted.

Southern Command spokesman Major Gamal Hayudini said authorities were investigating the blast. "There is an investigation going on and we still don't know who were behind the latest explosion," he told the Zamboanga Journal.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack, although authorities previously linked the New People's Army (NPA) in extortion activities on bus operators in the province.

Authorities were also investigating whether the Abu Sayyaf group tied to the al-Qaeda terror network was connected to the attack.

The Abu Sayyaf was implicated by authorities in previous bombings of three passenger buses during last year's Valentine Day celebration in the southern port cities of General Santos and Davao, and Makati, the country's financial district.

At least 7 people were killed and dozens injured in the three attacks owned up by a senior Abu Sayyaf leader, Abu Solaiman.

The group was also implicated in the December 2004 bombing of General Santos, where more than a dozen people were killed, and similar attacks in Zamboanga City and Cotabato provinces.


Anonymous said...

i live adjacent to the terminal. the blast occured at quarter to 12. i was going outside when suddenly, i and my mother(were in the kitchen preparing lunch) heard a loud sound, the land also vibrated. i said to my mother maybe its the tires, but my mother disagreed with me. we then rushed to the terminal. i saw the bus smoking, and it was moving backwards with glass with those all broken and scattered all around. i cant help but i shouted "ma bomba, ma ang bus", my mother was beside me also in shock and shouting. people in the terminal were pleading, running as fast as they can. my aunt who's in her store was also shouting to us and crying. fortunately, we have a landline so i hurried up and called the police, my mother followed me and called the provincial hospital where she is working, she asked them to prepare. the hospital called us back to ask if how severe the situation, but my mother didnt know the extent of the incident. we then returned to to terminal, by this time people are now flooding towards the area. i saw one man searching the bus. after 5 minutes the police came, followed by abs-cbn, then the fire department with ambulances. the injured were brought to the hospital. as what i assessed the tail part of the bus received the biggest hit, a part of the engine was cutted. the buses beside the explosion was also damaged from the explosion, all sides are very damaged. the roof of the terminal was also raised a bit. according to the vendors, the bus was not full packed because the passenger and the crew was outside eating and going to the restroom. just a few seconds when it arrived the bomb exploded. the vibrations and sound was heard a kilometer away. many called us asking about the loud sound and was shocked to know that it was a bomb explosion. my mother called the hospital again. my father is also working in the hospital. he said that they received 17 injured persons. injuries were caused broken glasses.
when i first i saw it, i cant believed it. i am seeing what other people have seen in their life. i was trembling. thanks god no one died. i was like a scene in a movie.

rex j. l.

The Mindanao Examiner said...

Dear Rex,

Thank you for sharing us your account of what really transpired in Digos.

Let us all stay vigilant, terrorists are lurking like deadly snakes in the urban jungle, ready to strike at any time.

We are victims here and we should stand united in fighting terrorism.

Zamboanga Journal