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2 dead, 18 wounded in Zamboanga blast

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By Joel Guinto, Lira Dalangin-Fernandez, Thea Alberto, Julie Alipala, Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 10:26:00 05/29/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Two persons were killed and 18 wounded after a powerful bomb ripped through the first floor of the Air Materiel Wing Savings and Loan Association Inc. (AMWSLAI) building in Zamboanga City at 10 a.m. Thursday.

The explosion occurred while President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was to visit Tawi-Tawi province and US Ambassador Kristie Kenney was in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur to inspect her government’s projects there.

Despite the incident, Malacañang said Arroyo was pushing through with her trip.

Colonel Darwin Guerra, commander Task Force Zamboanga, said one of the wounded has been confined to the Intensive Care Unit of a local hospital.

All the casualties were civilians waiting to hitch a ride on a C-130 cargo plane at the airbase, Guerra said in a phone interview.

Authorities earlier said the casualties included four engineers of a US project and two members of Zamboanga Representative Ma. Isabele Climaco’s staff.

The AMWSLAI building, in Santa Maria village and just across Gate 1 of the Edwin Andrews Airbase, houses the office of the Alliance for Mindanao Off-grid Renewable Energy (AMORE) Program of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Area 1, as well as the office of.

The explosion went off “a few meters” away from the gate of the airbase, Guerra said.

While the suspects behind the blast have yet to be identified, Guerra said: “This is definitely an act of terrorism.”

Chief Superintendent Jaime Caringal said in a phone interview that the improvised explosive device (IED) was wrapped in a package placed near the AMWSLAI office.

Senior Superintendent Lorimer Detran, Zamboanga police officer-in-charge, said two children were among the injured.

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Written by joelguinto

ThuUTC2008-05-29T04:52:31+00:00UTC05bUTCThu, 29 May 2008 04:52:31 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am05

Posted in Uncategorized

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