Bomb blast kills 5 in Sulu-A A +A
Thursday, March 10, 2011
ZAMBOANGA CITY (Updated, 10:55 p.m.) -- At least five people were killed and 11 others injured when suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits detonated a powerful bomb near a school in Jolo town in Sulu province Thursday afternoon, officials said.
The homemade bomb went off shortly after a van of police special forces passed by, hitting instead pedestrians and motorists during rush hour on Jolo island.
Lieutenant Colonel Randolph Cabangbang, regional military spokesman, said the bomb went off around 5:20 p.m. in front of Dennis Coffee Shop on Scott Road in Lower San Raymundo village.
He said the improvised bomb was placed in one of the parked motorcycles near the school. The explosion destroyed three pedicabs, three motorcycles, and the coffee shop, he added.
The blast dug a crater on the concrete road and damaged the metal roof of a nearby school, Jolo Mayor Hussin Amin said. He said police beefed up security two days ago after receiving intelligence of a possible Abu Sayyaf attack.
Cabangbang, meanwhile, said two of the five fatalities died on the spot while the rest died while receiving treatment at a hospital. He identified one of the fatalities as a certain Habir Sabri.
Eleven others were wounded in the blast, including two who were undergoing surgery at the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) in Jolo island. The wounded were identified as Jenalyn Jaiber, 21; Abdulla Bairulla, 20; Murin Akmad, 21; Muddasar Amuddin, 42; Nurin Akmad, 21; Julpi Mohammad; Sukarno Jilka, 58; Annong Sabri, 40; Salma Gaspar, 42; Muddasar Abudin, 41; and a certain Marino, 42.
"Whoever did this — and definitely they're from the Abu Sayyaf — are animals," Amin said. "We've already brought over some visitors and investors and now we have this."
The al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf, which has 410 fighters, has been blamed for deadly bomb attacks, kidnappings for ransom and beheadings. It was founded in the early 1990s but has been weakened through the years by US-backed offensives.
Washington has blacklisted the Abu Sayyaf as a terrorist group and blamed it for deadly attacks on American troops and civilians in the country's volatile south. (Bong Garcia/AP/Sunnex)