Saturday, December 05, 2009

Bombing kills 1, injures 6 more in South RP

Photos sent to the independent regional newspaper The Mindanao Examiner show the aftermath of a powerful bomb explosion Saturday, December 5, 2009 destroyed a small building and damaged the municipal police station of Jolo in Sulu province in the southern Philippines. The attack, blamed on the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group, killed a municipal employee and injured 6 policemen.

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / December 5, 2009) – A powerful bomb explosion early Saturday killed one person and wounded six policemen in the southern Philippine province of Sulu where security forces are battling al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group.

The bombing in the capital town of Jolo severely damaged the main police headquarters and a US military-funded building used in peace projects in the province. “The attack occurred at dawn and one municipal worker was killed and six policemen are also wounded,” said Chief Inspector Usman Pingay, the Jolo police commander.

He said the police are still investigating the bombing and the motive of the attack. “We are still investigating the blast and the type of explosive used in the bombing,” Pingay said.

Pingay said no group claimed responsibility for the attack, but previous bombings in Sulu were blamed to the Abu Sayyaf and Moro rebels. “The Abu Sayyaf could be behind this, we still don’t know, but this group was blamed for the past attacks,” he said.

Last month, a government soldier was wounded in clashes with suspected Abu Sayyaf militants in Sulu. The fighting erupted after troops foiled an attempt by militants to bomb a newly repaired bridge, twice bombed, in the town of Indanan.

The bridge connects the town to other areas in the province and is frequently used by the military in the deployment of soldiers fighting the Abu Sayyaf and Moro rebels.

Militants also bombed the compound of the Catholic church in Jolo town this year and previously threatened to kidnap and behead priests and nuns in Sulu after accusing them of propagating Christianity in the largely Muslim province.

The Abu Sayyaf had killed a Catholic bishop, Benjamin de Jesus, in 2003 in a daring attack outside the Our lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral in Jolo, about 950 kilometers southeast of Manila where the Apostolic Vicariate of Jolo is located.

Sporadic clashes in Sulu since September had killed dozens of gunmen and soldiers, including two members of the US Special Forces, after the military launched attacks against the Abu Sayyaf and Moro National Liberation Front rebels during the Eid Fit’r, one of the most important Muslim celebrations after the holy month of Ramadan.

US troops are deployed in Sulu since 2006 and helping the military defeat terrorism.

The rebels who were followers of former MNLF chieftain Nur Misuari declared a holy war or jihad against the military for disrespecting the Eid celebration. (Mindanao Examiner)

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