ILIGAN CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / July 7, 2009) – One person was killed and at least 10 people were wounded, three of them soldiers, after a car bomb exploded Tuesday in Iligan City in the southern Philippines, reports said.
The car bomb exploded near an army jeep parked adjacent a pawnshop in downtown Iligan and among the wounded were three soldiers. No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but previous bombings in Mindanao had been largely blamed by authorities to Moro rebels and Jemaah Islamiya.
The explosion occurred at around 10.30 a.m., said First Lieutenant Steffani Cacho, a regional military spokeswoman.
“We still don’t know who was behind the latest bombing. It’s too early to speculate, but the attacks are escalating,” she told the Mindanao Examiner.
Justice Undersecretary Ricardo Blancaflor said the target of the bombing was the military convoy. “The bombing in Iligan targeted the convoy,” he said in a television interview.
The attack in Iligan came barely two hours after a motorcycle bomb exploded near a Catholic church in Jolo town in Sulu province, killing 2 people and wounded two dozen more.
Another improvised explosive, assembled from an 81mm mortar bomb, and planted at police booth outside the Mount Carmel church in Jolo was also disarmed, said town mayor Hussin Amin.
“We suspect that those behind the bombing could be the same group that detonated a motorcycle bomb at the convoy of Governor Sakur Tan,” Amin said.
The mayor was referring to the failed assassination of Tan in May. Tan’s convoy was bombed outside his office while returning home from work, injuring 10 people.
Blancaflor, who also head a government anti-terror task force, said they still do not know if the attacks were coordinated or not. “But the effect of this is to sow terror,” he said. (Mindanao Examiner)