Explosions Rock Philippines, Six Dead

A powerful bomb rang through the Jolo Island in southern Philippines, at least six people were killed and many others wounded in the explosion, military officials say the condition of several of the injured remained critical and the death toll could rise.

Separately security forces in Jolo claim to have found and defused another bomb in the vicinity of the Mt. Carmel Cathedral.

This latest attack follows a bomb blast outside a cathedral in the southern Mindanao province of Cotabato last Sunday, which killed five people and injured another 55.

According to the French news agency AFP, another explosion took place in Iligan, also in the south.

The crude bomb in a parked car wounded seven people including two soldiers, reported AFP.

The bomb in Jolo was concealed on a motorbike and exploded outside a hardware store; the store owner was one of those killed.

“Many of the wounded are in critical condition so there is a possibility that there will be more than two deaths,” BBC quoted Navy spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Edgard Arevalo as saying.

Security personnel are conducting investigations to identify those behind the blasts.

Jolo is home turf for Abu Sayyaf – a militant group once linked to regional Islamic militant networks, but the gang is now better known for criminal brutality and high-profile kidnappings.

Schools in Jolo have been suspended for the fear of more attacks.

The military blames the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), for the attack in Cotabato on Sunday.

Mohaqher Iqbal – a top MILF leader has denied involvement in the carnage, said the BBC.

Southern Philippines, an impoverished region perched atop rich oil and natural gas reserves, is the epicenter of a bitter Muslim secessionist conflict that has displaced 2 million people and killed over 120,000.

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