Bomb Blasts Kill Seven, Wound 152 in Southern Philippines; Abu Sayyaf Suspected
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (news - web sites) visits a two-year-old bomb blast victim at a hospital in the southern Philippine city of Zamboanga on October 18. REUTERS/Erik de Castro
ZAMBOANGA, Philippines â€” Muslim militants linked to Al Qaeda may be responsible for bombings Thursday that killed seven people, wounded 152 and devastated two department stores in this Christian city, the military said.
Suspicion fell on Abu Sayyaf because of similarities to an Oct. 2 blast that killed four, including an American Green Beret. That explosion was blamed on the Muslim extremists notorious for kidnappings and murders. TNT was apparently used in both attacks.
Thursday's bombings, 30 minutes apart, came less than a week after three bombs exploded on the Indonesian island of Bali, killing 183 people.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo flew to the site of the bombings early Friday. She condemned the latest terrorist strike to hit her impoverished country, a key supporter in the U.S. war on terrorism.