Bomb on bus in Philippines kills 7, wounds 9
A bomb ripped through a passenger bus in the restive southern Philippines today, killing at least seven people and wounding nine others.world Updated: Oct 21, 2010 11:15 IST
A bomb ripped through a passenger bus in the restive southern Philippines on Thursday, killing at least seven people and wounding nine others.
The bus was traveling with more than 50 passengers when the powerful blast shook the rear part of the vehicle from the overhead compartment, police Chief Superintendent Gil Meneses said. The force of the blast was so strong it decapitated two of the victims, he said.
The wounded were brought to hospitals near Matalam township in North Cotabato province. Police and army units interviewed survivors and combed through the twisted metal trying to extract the injured, Meneses said.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing. The south of the Philippines is home to kidnappers, extortion gangs and a decades-old Muslim insurgency. Extortionists have been blamed for previous bus attacks and holdups in the region.
Military spokesman Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang said the bus company involved in Thursday's bombing had been targeted for extortion in the past.
Among the most notorious extortion groups is Al-Khobar, which authorities say is made up of criminals and former Muslim rebels who have been blamed for attacking business establishments refusing to pay their ransom demands.
In April last year, two homemade bombs exploded hours apart on one bus, wounding the conductor and five passengers. A bomb exploded at a Cotabato city bus terminal in February the same year, wounding two people.