The jihad continues on Mindanao. “Philippines bomb kills four, army blames Islamists,” from Reuters:
MANILA (Reuters) – A bomb killed four people and wounded 29 when it tore through a billiard hall in the southern Philippines on Tuesday in an attack military officials blamed on an al Qaeda-linked Islamist group.
The blast took place at a busy street corner in Tacurong City, officials said. Tacurong is on the troubled island of Mindanao, about 950 km (600 miles) south of Manila.
Major-General Raymundo Ferrer, army commander in Cotabato on Mindanao, said initial inquiries indicated it was the handiwork of Jemaah Islamiah (JI), a regional militant network.
“It has all the signature of a terrorist attack,” Ferrer told reporters, ruling out politics behind the attack.
“We have strong suspicions the JI carried out the attack to remind us they’re still very much around. The target was obviously innocent people.”
Ferrer said four people were confirmed killed and 29 were wounded. Earlier, officials had reported five dead and 35 wounded, but Ferrer said some casualties had been counted twice in the initial confusion after the blast.
Benjamin de los Santos, Tacurong City’s deputy police chief, said a suspect with known links to local Islamist militants had been identified.
“We have identified a possible suspect who was seen carrying a bag before the explosion,” he told reporters.