Thursday, October 30, 2008

Blast Injures 4 People In South RP

COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 30, 2008) – Four people were wounded, including an eight-year old girl, in an explosion late Thursday in the southern Philippine province of Sultan Kudarat, army reports said.

The explosion occurred at around 7 p.m. in Esperanza town and that two of the wounded - Mohalidin Singson, 26; and Narrez Hadjiali, 32 - were being investigated by the authorities.

Both men, who are native of Shariff Aguak town in Maguindanao province, were believed carrying the explosive when it accidentally went off and also injured Dina Varona, 44, and Clarine Velasco, 8, all local residents.

It was unknown whether the two men are members of any rebel group, but the province is a known stronghold of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front which has been fighting for self-determination the past three decades.

On Tuesday, government soldiers disarmed three improvised bombs planted at a bus depot in North Cotabato’s Kabacan town.

The explosives were assembled from two 81mm and a 60mm mortar bombs and connected to blasting caps and batteries, according Lt. Col. Julieto Ando, spokesman of the 6th Army’s Infantry Division.

Ando blamed rogue MILF members as behind the foiled bombing. Security forces were pursuing rebel forces under Ameril Kato, Abdullah Macapaar and Sulayman Pangalian, who led a series of deadly attacks against civilian targets in August after the failed signing of the Muslim territorial deal with the MILF.

Manila suspended peace talks with the rebel group because of the attacks that killed and wounded dozens of people in North Cotabato, Lanao del Norte and Sarangani provinces.

Police and military authorities previously blamed the spate of bus depot bombings to the Al-Khobar gang. (Nickee Butlangan)

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