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Muslim Rebels Kill 13 in Philippines

More distressing events in Southern Philippines
Death toll in Koronadal City bomb blast rises to 13

05/10 5:25:47 PM

COTABATO (AFP) - Thirteen people were killed and 11 others wounded Saturday when a bomb, suspected to have been planted by Muslim rebels, exploded in the southern Philippine city of Koronadal, officials said.

Updating an earlier report, the bomb, consisting of an 81 mm mortar and a timing device, went off in front of the public market, scattering bloody body parts, local army commander Colonel Agustin Dima-ala said.

Hospital officials and police numbered 13 casualties, with many of the wounded in critical condition.

Dima-ala said among the dead may have been the person responsible for planting the bomb.

Police earlier attributed the blast to a grenade, but bomb experts later identified its source.

Regional police Chief Superintendent Rodolfo Tor, said the Muslim separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) may have been behind the attack since it followed the pattern and methods of earlier MILF bomb attacks.

MILF spokesman Eid Kabalu, however, denied the group had any knowledge of the bombing of the majority-Christian city, located 960 kilometers (595 miles) south of Manila.

It was the second bomb attack in Koronadal in a month.

A grenade attack in the same part of the city in April, also blamed on the MILF, killed a district chairman and his bodyguard.

The MILF has been blamed for a series of bombings of mainly-Christian cities since March, which have claimed over 30 lives

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