3 killed in Basilan bomb explosion

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ZAMBOANGA CITY: At least three people were killed in a roadside bombing on Thursday that targeted the vice mayor of Isabela City in Basilan province, security officials said.

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Officials said five people were wounded, including Vice Mayor Abdulbaki Ajibon, after a bomb exploded outside the house of Mayor Cherry Akbar in Sunrise village.

Ajibon was travelling with a convoy of a pickup truck and a van that was passing by Akbar’s house when the bomb went off.

Capt. Roy Trinidad, a military spokesman, said the fatalities were all security escorts of Ajibon.

“Initial report said three security escorts were killed and five others wounded, including the vice mayor,” he told The Manila Times.

No individual or group claimed responsibility for the attack, but Trinidad said authorities were investigating the bombing. The authorities have identified the fatalities only as Hajji Bari, Mohaimin and Bairula.

In May 2012, a motorcycle bomb also exploded as Ajibon’s convoy was passing by Akbar’s house although no one was killed or injured in the blast.

The police said the bomb was placed inside the tool box of the motorcycle which was parked near the house of Akbar. It can be recalled that the husband of Akbar, Basilan Representative Wahab Akbar, was killed in a 2007 motorcycle bomb attack outside the House of Representatives in Manila.

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