14 Wounded In Southern Philippine Bombing

August 21, 2007 at 11:19 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment





Scenes from Tuesday’s bombing in Zamboanga City in southern Philippines, where security forces are fighting Abu Sayyaf militants tied to al-Qaeda terror network in Basilan and Jolo islands. (Mindanao Examiner Photo Service)

 

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / 21 Aug) – At least 14 people were wounded when a bomb exploded late Tuesday in the southern Philippine port city of Zamboanga, authorities said.

The blast, which occurred at around 7.45 p.m., shook small buildings and shattered glass windows of department stores around a public park called Plaza Pershing where the bomb was planted under a concrete bench.

“It was an IED alright. We are still investigating who were behind the blast,” Senior Superintendent Manuel Barcena, chief of the local police force, told reporters.

The wounded, among them children, were rushed to hospital because of shrapnel wounds. Five U.S. soldiers were also spotted talking to Filipino bomb experts near the park.

Soldiers and policemen were searching for bombs after intelligence reports suggested there could be more, but they found nothing.

Police and military bomb experts were seen sifting through the debris to find clues as to what type of explosive was used in the attack. One investigator said he found what appeared to be pieces of magnet, believed part of the improvised explosive device.

Security was tight in downtown Zamboanga and soldiers put up road blocks and inspected civilian vehicles for weapons and explosives. There were no reports of arrests.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but security forces were battling Abu Sayyaf militants, whose group is tied to al-Qaeda terror network, on the neighboring island of Basilan, where 16 troops had died already in the fighting since last week.

Philippine military chief Gen. Hermogenes Esperon on Monday warned of possible attacks on civilian targets that may be waged by Abu Sayyaf militants or their sympathizers.

”We have to maintain our presence in areas where there could be sympathetic violence like Lanao and Cotabato,” Esperon said.

Zamboanga City had been targeted in the past by Abu Sayyaf bombers, especially if there were fighting in Basilan or Jolo islands, where the militants are actively operating.

The Abu Sayyaf is on the U.S. terror lists and Washington sent hundreds of troops in Zamboanga City and Jolo island to help the local military defeat the group, blamed for the spate of bombings and kidnappings of foreigners in the region. (Mindanao Examiner)

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