12 hurt as car bomb explodes in Zamboanga bus terminal

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DAVAO CITY: At least 12 people were wounded when a car bomb exploded Friday in Zamboanga City in southern Philippines, officials said.

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Officials said the car, parked outside the Fantacy Disco near a bus depot in Guiwan village, was packed with explosives when it detonated around 3 p.m. The powerful blast sent pieces of metals and debris flying around and injuring civilians.

Initial reports said at least a dozen people have been rushed to hospital as troops cordoned the area while policemen searched for evidence to determine the type of explosives used in the daring attack.

The attack occurred even as the police and the military tightened security in Zamboanga following a botched plan by Abu Sayyaf rebels to rescue the imprisoned members there. At least 57 Abu Sayyaf fighters are being held at the local prison.

No individual or group claimed responsibility for the latest bombing, but it also coincided with deliberations in Congress of the proposed Muslim homeland, which Zamboanga politicians oppose. Zamboanga is said to be formerly under the rule of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo.

More troops were deployed in Zamboanga to help the local police guard the city against terror attacks.

“We have deployed soldiers in the area and tightened security around
Zamboanga,” Marine Captain Maria Rowena Mu-yuela, a spokeswoman for the Western Mindanao Command, told The Manila Times by phone from her headquarters in Zamboanga City.

Just recently, prison guards seized 3 automatic pistols and 16 magazines loaded with bullets smuggled by female visitors inside three concrete stoves. The guns, according to officials, will be used by Abu Sayyaf prisoners to escape.

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