MAGUINDANAO, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Nov. 21, 2010) – Two people were wounded in a bomb explosion Sunday in the hometown of a powerful Muslim clan accused in the Philippines’ worst political killings.
The bomb was placed inside the baggage compartment of a motorcycle parked outside a school in Shariff Aguak town in Maguindanao, one of five provinces under the Muslim autonomous region whose governor Zaldy Ampatuan and his father and brothers and relatives were accused as behind the gruesome killings last year of 58 people, at least 32 of them journalists.
“The wounded civilians were outside their house opposite to the road where the explosion occurred. The motorcycle was just parked near the school,” said Army Captain Razaleigh Bansawan, a spokesman for the 6th Infantry Division.
He said the explosive was fashioned out from an 81mm mortar bomb.
It was unknown if the motorcycle bomb was accidently detonated. The explosion came ahead of the planned commemoration by relatives and families of those brutally killed on November 23.
Among those murdered were the wife and sister and relatives and supporters of now Maguindanao Governor Esmael Mangudadatu who was opposed to Ampatuan’s rule.
Mangudadatu is expected to attend the commemoration on Tuesday on a village where the killings took place. The Ampatuans are currently in jail and had denied their involvement in the mass murders.
The journalists were covering the political convoy of Mangudadatu’s wife when close to 200 gunmen flagged them down in Shariff Aguak town and herded to a farming village where the victims had been executed and buried in two pits. (Mindanao Examiner)