ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Apr. 21, 2009) – Security forces have detonated Tuesday a powerful explosive left near the Provincial Capitol in the southern Philippine province of Basilan, officials said.
Provincial deputy governor Al-Rasheed Sakalahul said the bomb was found by civilians at an abandoned house in Isabela City and was immediately detonated. “It was powerful alright. They can use the bomb to attack civilian targets,” he said.
No individual or group claimed ownership of the explosive, but Sakalahul said terrorists could be planning an attack later in the day.
Early this month, suspected Abu Sayyaf also detonated a bomb planted on a street pole near the Provincial Capitol that killed two people and wounded eight others.
Last December, a grenade attack in the same area left 17 people wounded and police and military blamed it to the Abu Sayyaf, a small band of militants blamed for the country's worst terrorist attacks.
The group is still holding three teachers, a lending firm collector and a Sri Lankan peace advocate in Basilan. Another Abu Sayyaf faction is also holding a kidnapped Italian Red Cross worker Eugenio Vagni in Sulu province. (Mindanao Examiner)