Bomb Blast Kills 5 In Philippines
A car bomb exploded in a public market in a southern Philippine town early Friday as a convoy carrying a provincial Governor was passing by, killing five people wounding 10 others, authorities said. The Governor, Andal Ampatuan, was unhurt, local army commander Col. Felipe Tabas said. The blast at 7:30 a.m. rocked the busy market in Shariff Aguad in Maguindanao province, about 560 miles southeast of Manila, he said. He said the bomb was placed in or under a minibus parked nearby, which was loaded with fireworks.
Governor Andal AmpatuanAmong the five killed were two relatives of the Governor, said provincial administrator Norie Unas. At least 10 other people were wounded, most of them passers-by, police said. Ampatuan’s son, Zaldy, is the Governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which was created after a large Muslim separatist group signed a peace agreement with the government in 1996.A splinter group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, has continued to wage a separatist rebellion, although it signed a cease-fire agreement three years ago amid ongoing peace talks. Al-Qaida-linked militants also are active in the area. Andal Ampatuan Jr., a son of the Governor, blamed “terrorists” for the attempt on his father’s life. He did not elaborate.