Thursday, October 27, 2011

One dead, eight hurt in Philippine blast: police

A powerful bomb ripped through a roadside restaurant in the southern Philippines late on Wednesday, killing one person and injuring eight others, police said.

A joint military-police counter-terrorism task force in the port of Zamboanga earlier said two dead and five wounded, but later the city police chief, Superintendent Edwin de Ocampo, said they had made an incorrect report.

Police were called in the early evening after shopkeepers found improvised explosive devices at a row of roadside shops and restaurants some 30 kilometres (18 miles) from the city centre, he said.

Two devices left at a lottery store were found and disarmed by police ordnance experts, but a third explosive went off at a small restaurant nearby, killing one person and wounding eight others, de Ocampo said.

The attack came hours after soldiers seized a remote hideout of "lawless elements" among Muslim separatist rebels blamed for a rash of attacks that has killed nearly 40 since last week elsewhere on troubled Mindanao island.

The regional military spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Bartolome Cabangbang, said the authorities did not believe the Zamboanga city bomb attack was related to the military offensive.

"We do not see that they are related," Cabangbang told AFP.


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