One person was killed and more than a dozen wounded in an apparent suicide bombing Thursday evening outside the Zamboanga International Airport in the southern Philippines. Police said the target of the attack was Sulu Governor Sakur Tan, who was also injured in the blast. Tan was getting out of the airport when the blast occurred. (Mindanao Examiner Photo Service)
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 5, 2010) – One person was killed and more than a dozen wounded in an apparent suicide bombing Thursday evening outside the Zamboanga International Airport in the southern Philippines, police said.
Police said the target of the attack was Sulu Governor Sakur Tan, who was also injured in the blast. Tan was getting out of the airport after returning from Manila when the blast occurred.
“There were a lot of people waiting for their relatives to come out of the arrival area and I was near the man, in fact I saw the flash from the explosion,” he told reporters.
The powerful explosion decapitated the body of the bomber, police said. At least 16 people, including a Caucasian, were wounded in the attack. “The target of the attack was Governor Sakur Tan. It was a suicide attack and Tan was lucky to escape only with minor injuries,” a member of the SWAT team guarding the airport said.
Tan would not say whether the attack was politically motivated or not or who was behind it. Tan said he filed corruption and criminal charges against several politicians in Sulu. “It is too early to say who was behind the attack. Let us wait for the investigation of the police,” he said.
Tan, a known religious man and a philanthropist, said he was heading to Sulu when the attack occurred. Tan is to meet with Philippine police chief Jesus Versoza in Sulu on Friday for an important conference.
Last year, Tan also survived an Abu Sayyaf roadside bombing in Sulu which police claimed was masterminded by his political foes. (Mindanao Examiner)