4 Killed In Explosion In Restive Philippine Island

July 21, 2007 at 5:25 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

JOLO ISLAND (Mindanao Examiner / 21 Jul) – A powerful explosion killed four people and wounded two others at dawn Saturday in the restive southern island of Jolo, where US-backed Filipino troops are hunting down Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiya militants, officials said.

Officials said the blast ripped through a house in downtown Jolo island where its occupants were allegedly assembling homemade bombs.

Other reports said six people had died from the explosion.

But Army Brig. Gen. Ruperto Pabustan, commander of an anti-terrorist task force in Jolo, said four people were killed in the explosion at around 3.30 a.m.

“Initial reports said the blast inside the house was apparently accidental after a dynamite suddenly exploded, wounding two persons,” Pabustan told the Mindanao Examiner.

He said the explosives would probably be used in illegal fishing, which is rampant in the Sulu Sea.

Pabustan has ordered security forces to arrest those involved in illegal fishing and individuals engaged in selling explosives and chemicals used in the manufacture of homemade bombs.

Troops are battling the Moro National Liberation Front rebels and members of the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group and the Jemaah Islamiya on the island.

Hundreds of US troops are stationed in Jolo island and helping local troops fight terroris.

Soldiers in April seized 600 kilos of ammonium nitrate from a mini-bus in Jolo’s Panamao town.

The chemical is widely used in the manufacture of homemade explosives in the troubled southern Philippine region. It was the second time that troops seized such chemical. In Zamboanga City, soldiers manning a checkpoint also recovered 25 kilos of ammonium nitrate from a passenger bus during a security check.

The chemical, concealed in a cardboard box, was discovered by soldiers in a bus at military checkpoint in the village of Mati in the outskirts of Zamboanga also in April. (Mindanao Examiner)

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