Thursday, March 03, 2011

5 wounded in roadside bombing in Mindanao

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Mar. 3, 2011) – A roadside bombing on Thursday wounded 5 passengers of a commuter bus in the restive of Mindanao in the southern Philippines, officials told the Mindanao Examiner.

Officials said the explosion occurred just as the bus was passing the town of Datu Paglas in Maguindanao province. The bus, which came from Sultan Kudarat province, was heading to Davao City when the improvised explosive went off, said Major Marlowe Patria, a spokesman for the 6th Infantry Division.

“We have reports that five people were injured in the roadside bombing. We still don’t known what kind of explosive was used in the attack,” he said.

No individual or group claimed responsibility for the attack, but police and military previously blamed such bombings to rebels extorting money from bus firms in the restive region of Mindanao.

“Extortion is one angle we are looking into as the motive of the attack. Investigations are still on going to determine who were behind this bombing,” Patria said.

Previous attacks in Mindanao had been powerful and deadly and in October last year, a bomb explosion ripped through a commuter bus in Matalam town in North Cotabato province and killed 10 people and wounded 30 others.

And in August, armed men disguised as policemen, also torched a bus owned by Rural Transit of Mindanao after killing its driver and two off-duty police officers at a road block in Lanao del Norte’s Kapatagan town.

Just this year, a bus explosion in the country’s financial district in Makati City killed 5 people and wounded more than a dozen. A mortar bomb rigged to a cell phone and planted under a seat in the middle part of the bus was used in the attack.

The improvised explosive was also the same commonly used by Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiya and Moro rebels in attacks on buses and civilian targets in Mindanao.

The attack was also similar to the Jemaah Islamiya bombing of a bus in Manila in February 2005 that killed four people and the series of bombings in December 2000 that left 22 people dead. Both attacks wounded scores of civilians. (Mindanao Examiner)

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