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    Blast Kills Four in the Southern Philippines


    by NTDTelevision

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    A bomb blast outside a school in Jolo has killed at least four people and wounded 10 others. Although no one had claimed responsibility for the attack, suspicion has fallen on the Islamist militant Abu Sayyaf Group, which operates on the island.

    A powerful blast killed at least four people on Thursday and wounded 10 others near a school on a southern island in the Philippines.

    The improvised bomb went off about 33 feet away from the gate of an elementary school in Jolo, Sulu Province. The victims were mostly rickshaw and motorcycle drivers.

    Officers say they had received reports of bomb threats earlier in the week.

    [Superintendent Antonio Freira, Director, Sulu Province Police]:
    "We've been tightening the security, and you would see that, despite floods yesterday, we had established some checkpoints here."

    Although no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, the Abu Sayyaf Group, a small band of Islamist militants with close ties to al Qaeda and regional network Jemaah Islamiah, operates on the island.

    U.S.-trained army commandos launched attacks on another band of Abu Sayyaf militants in nearby Sacol Island on Thursday, tracking down a rebel leader wanted in the United States.

    The Abu Sayyaf, with an estimated 300 fighters, has been blamed for bombings, kidnappings, and beheadings in the troubled south.