A poster at the Jolo airport reads "No to Armed Violence in Sulu" as the shadow of a policeman is reflected on the mirror. Philippine authorities say 5 people have been killed and eight more wounded in a roadside bombing in Jolo town on Thursday, March 10, 2011. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)
JOLO, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Mar. 10, 2011) – At least five people were killed and 8 more wounded during a rush hour roadside bombing late Thursday afternoon in the southern Filipino town of Jolo, police said.
Police said the bomber left an improvised explosive on the sidewalk near the building that housed the Department of Education. It said initial reports claimed two people were killed, but the military said three more had died in hospital raising the toll to 5.
“The bomb exploded at the time that many people are going home,” a police officer investigating the crime scene said. The officer, who was not authorized to speak to media, said the blast was powerful and that they were sent to the area to investigate the attack believed carried out by the militant group Abu Sayyaf.
Army Lieutenant Colonel Randolph Cabangbang, a regional military spokesman, said several motorcycle taxis near the explosion site were destroyed by the powerful blast and that it also damaged a school nearby.
“We have troops in the area to help police secure the site and civilians, he said.
No group has claimed responsibility for the latest attack, but the bombing coincided with military operations against two ruthless leaders of the Abu Sayyaf group in Zamboanga City.
But it was not immediately known whether the attack was connected to the military operation. The mayor of Jolo, Hussin Amin, did not answer phone calls from journalists, but the town had been previously attacked by the Abu Sayyaf, blamed by authorities to the spate of kidnappings and terrorism.
The town also host a few hundred US soldiers aiding the local military in fighting the Abu Sayyaf. American troops have been stationed in Jolo town since 2006. (Mindanao Examiner)