Blast hits southern Philippines

Three people killed as violence continues ahead of next week's national elections.

    The bombing comes days ahead of
    national elections [Reuters]

    Witnesses reported seeing bodies of the dead and wounded strewn about the smoking rubble of a billiards hall where bomb squad officers said the device had been placed.

    Ongoing violence

    Teng Tacao, a provincial head of police, said two people were killed instantly; the military reported that another died later. 33 others were in serious condition with shrapnel and burn wounds.

    Police foiled a previous bomb attack in the city only last month when they found a device made from 81mm mortar rounds, a trademark of Muslim fighters operating in the southern Philippines who have been linked to al-Qaeda.

    Rebel fighters from the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are known to operate near Tacurong and other parts of Mindanao island, but the group's spokesman denied it had a hand in the attack.

    "That is not our style," Eid Kabalu said. "It may be some groups out to sow terror ahead of the elections."

    National mid-term elections will be held on May 14, and the run-up to the vote has been marred by assassinations and other violence.

    Last Wednesday police said that 20 people had been killed in election-related violence.


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.