The intrepid mujadehin, keeping the world safe from joy: the hotel was packed with wedding guests. “Wedding tragedy: Hotel bomb kills 3, wounds dozens in Philippines,” from MSNBC, November 29 (thanks to Kenneth):
MANILA, Philippines “” Suspected Islamic militants detonated a powerful bomb that killed at least three people and wounded 27 others in a budget hotel packed with wedding guests in the southern Philippines, officials said Monday.
Investigators believe the blast and ensuing fire that gutted the two-story Atilano Pension House in downtown Zamboanga City late Sunday was a terrorist strike and that it was not linked to the wedding, city police director Edwin de Ocampo said.
Nothing personal, just blowing up your hotel.
Still, many of the victims were from a group of more than 20 people who occupied six of the hotel’s 35 rooms for a planned ceremony Monday.
Citing witnesses, the BBC reported that the explosion destroyed the upper levels of the hotel.
“We should not show that we’re panicking because that is what these troublemakers relish to see,” Zamboanga Mayor Celso Lobregat told The Associated Press by telephone. “We have good leads. We will get all of them.”
The blast was believed to be one of two simultaneous bombings planned by al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaff militants. The other would have been on nearby Basilan island, where two explosives were separately found and safely defused by authorities in Isabela city on Sunday, de Ocampo said.
The hotel blast, caused by about 22 pounds of TNT powder, was one of the most high-profile bombings this year blamed on the Abu Sayyaf.
The blast was so powerful it caused much of the second floor to collapse, blew off the hotel’s roof and shattered glass panes and windows from nearby buildings, Lobregat added.
Two of the wounded were in serious condition and more than a dozen others remained confined in a hospital, he said.
Zamboanga City, a predominantly Christian trading hub 540 miles south of Manila, is located in a volatile region long troubled by a decades-long Muslim insurgency, extortion gangs and kidnap for ransom syndicates.
Was this the target, or a possible “work accident?”
The blast occurred in room 226 on the second floor of the hotel, instantly killing two people staying in two adjacent rooms, which were devastated by the blast. A third body was found Monday on the ground floor, pinned by the cement slabs that collapsed from above, Lobregat said….