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At least 2 dead in North Cotabato bombing–officials

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Kids among casualties

By Joel Guinto, Thea Alberto
First Posted 16:21:00 05/08/2008

MANILA, Philippines — (UPDATE 2) At least two persons were confirmed killed and several others wounded when a bomb planted inside a commuter van exploded in Midsayap town, North Cotabato province Thursday, a regional military commander said.

The explosion occurred at around 3 p.m. while the van was parked at a terminal in the poblacion or town proper, said Colonel Pedro Soria, chief of the 602nd Army Infantry Brigade.

Police said among the casualties were two children.

An Agence France-Presse report quoted Superintendent Chino Mamburam as saying the explosion killed at least three persons, based on “initial reports.”

“The IED [improvised explosive device] exploded inside the van,” Mamburam said.

Mamburam described the explosion as “powerful” and cited witness accounts saying that many of the victims were bloodied and sprawled on the ground.

Troops from the 40th Infantry Battalion have been dispatched to the scene to assist in the post-blast investigation, Soria said in a phone interview.

No motive for the attack has yet been established and no group has claimed responsibility. Islamic militants including those from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are known to operate in the area.

The MILF has been waging a decades-old for an independent Islamic state on Mindanao.

Peace talks have been suspended since December, and the group has recently warned of fresh hostilities following a decision by the Malaysian government to pull out peacekeepers.

Edwin Fernandez, Inquirer; AFP

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Written by joelguinto

ThuUTC2008-05-08T09:03:12+00:00UTC05bUTCThu, 08 May 2008 09:03:12 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am05

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