Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Twin bombings kill 1 soldier, 12 others injured in southern Philippines

BASILAN, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Feb. 2, 2010) – One government soldier was killed and 12 others wounded in separate roadside bombings Tuesday in the troubled province of Basilan in the southern Philippines, police told the Mindanao Examiner.

Police said the first explosion wounded 4 civilians, mostly relatives of Basilan Representative Mujiv Hataman, in the village of Giong in Sumisip town. The attack occurred at around 11 a.m. while the victims were traveling on a jeep.

Hataman, who is running for governor in Basilan province against the incumbent Jum Akbar, a widow of assassinated solon Wahab Akbar, was not with the group of civilians. It was not immediately known if the bombing was connected to the murder of Akbar, who was killed in a blast that ripped through a section of the House of Representatives in Manila in 2007.

Police said another roadside bombing in the village of Libog also in Sumisip town killed one government soldier and wounded eight more. The soldiers were in a military armor vehicle when the explosion occurred.

“We have reports that the Abu Sayyaf was behind the twin attacks,” said Senior Superintendent Antonio Mendoza, the provincial police chief. “We are still investigating both attacks.”

He said police and military forces were sent to the town to track down the militants headed by Puruji Indama.

It was unknown whether the two attacks were coordinated or not, but the Abu Sayyaf has been blamed for the spate of attacks and kidnappings-for-ransom in Basilan, a known stronghold of the militant group tied to Jemaah Islamiya and Al-Qaeda. (Mindanao Examiner)

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