Police and soldiers investigate the blast in Cotabato City in southern Philippines. Security is tight in Cotabato following the bombing of a pub late Thursday, Jan. 05, 2008. (Mindanao Examiner Photo/Mark Navales)
COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Jan. 04, 2008) – Philippine authorities were in heightened alert following a bombing in Cotabato City in the troubled region of Mindanao, south of Manila, officials said Friday.
Police said a woman was killed and that seven others were wounded in the attack late Thursday at the pub called “Fama”. “There is an ongoing investigation and we still do not know who was behind the bombing,” a police desk sergeant in Cotabato City said.
Most of the victims were women and the lone fatality, also a woman, was killed instantly by the powerful blast that decapitated both her legs. Police said an improvised explosive device was used in the bombing.
Glass doors and windows of establishments near the blast scene were also damaged by the powerful shock waves.
No group or individual claimed responsibility for the attack, but Cotabato City, the seat of the Muslim autonomous regional government, has been previously bombed many times.
Soldiers on Friday were spotted deployed in Cotabato City and several groups were seen patrolling the outskirts. “We are helping police authorities patrol the city,” Lt. Col. Julieto Ando, a regional army spokesman, told the Mindanao Examiner.
Last month, government agents arrested an Egyptian cleric, Mohammad Al-Sayed and seized from his hideout in Cotabato City assorted explosives. The foreigner was freed two days later after the Egyptian Embassy interceded for his release. (Juan Magtanggol and Mark Navales)