Monday, June 29, 2009

2 killed Maguindanao bombing

Soldiers inspect a site in the village of Kitanggo in Maguindanao's Datu Saudi Ampatuan town where an improvised explosive went off Monday, June 29, 2009 killing two persons and wounding eight others. The Army's 6th Infantry Division has blamed the Moro Islamic Liberation Front for the bombing, an accusation strongly denied by the rebel group. (Mindanao Examiner Photo by Mark Navales).

COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / June 29, 2009) – Two people were killed on Monday and at least 8 others wounded in a bomb attack blamed by the military to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the restive Muslim autonomous region in Mindanao.

Colonel Jonathan Ponce, a regional army spokesman, said the powerful explosion occurred at around 6 a.m. near a market in Kitanggo village in town of Datu Saudi Ampatuan in Maguindanao province.

He said the explosion killed Malimpunok Nunokan, 65, and Tong Hadji Omal, 25.

“One of the dead was the courier of the bomb and a member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s special operations group,” Ponce said without identifying the bomber.

It was unknown if the bombing was a suicide attack. Other reports said the improvised explosive was planted near a café.

Ponce the bomb was assembled from an 81mm mortar. “The series of IED bombings in central Mindanao are the handiwork of the special operations group of the MILF,” he told the Mindanao Examiner.

No individual or group claimed responsibility for the blast, but the MILF denied it was behind the bombing and said soldiers planted the explosive as part of its 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 reporters.

The MILF, which is fighting the last three decades for self-determination in Mindanao, previously accused government soldiers as behind the spate of bombings and burning of houses in the province to discredit the rebel group. (Mindanao Examiner)

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