Monday, October 05, 2009

Bomb Explodes in Southern Philippine City

COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / October 5, 2009) – A homemade bomb exploded on Monday in the southern Philippines, although there were no reports of casualties, officials told the Mindanao Examiner.

Officials said the bomb exploded at around 7.45 a.m. near downtown Cotabato. “There were no reports of injuries or casualties and we are still investigating the motive and who was behind the bombing,” said Colonel Jonathan Ponce, a spokesman for the Army’s 6th Infantry Division.

“The bomber may have failed to sneak the improvised explosive device into downtown Cotabato because of the presence of troops guarding checkpoints around Cotabato and just left the bomb to explode at a vacant lot in the village called Rosary Heights,” Ponce said.

No group or individuals claimed responsibility for the blast, but Ponce said the bomb was designed to kill.

“The design of the IED was meant to kill,” he said, adding, soldiers have recovered nails and broken parts of a cellular phone believed used to trigger explosion from the blast site.

He said the explosive was similar to those being used by Moro rebels in previous attacks in Mindanao.

The bombing came a day after a rebel leader Madarang Sali, deputy supreme commander of the Bangsamoro National Liberation Army, warned of attacks against military and civilian targets in retaliation to government offensive in Sulu province.

The military said more than four dozen Moro rebels and soldiers were killed in fierce clashes in Sulu since late last month. Two US Special Forces soldiers and a Filipino marine were among those killed in rebel attacks in Sulu, one of five provinces under the restive Muslim autonomous region.

Sali’s group is fighting for independence and vowed to attack US forces which he claimed were involved in combat operations in Sulu. (Mindanao Examiner)

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