Deadly bomb attacks in southern Philippines

At least six people have been killed and scores injured at the home of a pro-government militiaman.

    At least six people have been killed and 15 wounded in separate bomb attacks in the southern Philippines, the military and police said.

    A homemade explosive device went off at a kiosk in Basilan province's Sumisip township, killing at least six and wounding 10 others at a New Year's party late on Tuesday, AP news agency reported armed forces spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala as saying.

    Zagala confirmed the explosion had nothing to do with firecrackers intended for New Years celebrations.

    "This is really an improvised explosive device," Zagala said, adding that the motive was still unknown.

    Troops and police who responded to the emergency said the party took place at the home of Manuel Casineros, a pro-government militiaman and volunteer for a nearby Catholic church.

    Casineros had apparently been helping authorities protect rubber plantation workers from extortion by armed gangs like Abu Sayyaf, a group founded in the 1990s with money from Osama bin Laden, according to AFP news agency.

    'Very powerful' attack

    Last year, Abu Sayyaf gunmen ambushed a convoy carrying plantation workers, killing six and wounding 22 in the same area.

    Police have not confirmed responsibility but suspect Abu Sayyaf was involved, said provincial police chief Senior Superintendent Mario Dapilloza said over DZBB radio in Manila, describing the blast as "very powerful".

    Hours before the attack in Sumisip, a man riding a motorcycle launched a grenade at a Protestant Church in Cotabato province's Carmen township, wounding a mother, her three children and another girl, police said, adding that three men on two motorcycles were seen speeding away from the scene.

    Captain Antonio Bulao, a local army spokesman, said the assailants might have planned an attack for a nearby police station, but decided to switch to a weaker target.

    Al-Qaeda-linked rebel groups are known to operate in both southern provinces, according to Captain Jefferson, a local army spokesman.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.