Explosion at airport in S Philippines not suicide bombing

16:02, August 06, 2010      

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Police officers on Friday ruled out suicide bombing as the reason behind the explosion that occured outside the gate of an international airport terminal in the southern Philippines that left two people dead and 24 others wounded Thursday night.

"Definitely it's not a case of suicide bombing," local media Philippine Daily Inquirer reported, quoting Senior Superintendent Edwin Deocampo, acting Zamboanga City police chief.

Investigators are looking at the possibility that suspect Reynaldo Atilado, one of the deceased, might be after Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan, one of those injured, or that the suspect himself did not know that he was carrying a bomb inside his backpack when it suddenly went off.

"Atilado could have carried a bag or a baggage with explosives and he might be unaware of it because based on the force of explosion, the bomb went off from his behind," Deocampo said.

Tan himself believed that he was the target of another assassination plot, given the proximity of the explosion and the previous attempts on his life, Inquirer reported quoting Tan.

Authorities are still trying to establish the link between Atilado and the other fatality, Hatimil Harun Yacub of Barangay Baluc-baluc in Lantawan, Basilan, Inquirer reported.

Police identified Atilado to be a carpenter who lived in Sitio (sub-village) Caragasan in the village of Maasin in Zamboanga.

The suicide bombing outside Zamboanga International Airport shortly after 6 p.m. Thursday came a day before the scheduled visit of U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Harry K. Thomas Jr. who will look into various U.S.-funded projects in Zamboanga.

Thomas subsequently cancelled his scheduled visit to Zamboanga city but added that the United States is ready to offer any assistance requested by Philippine authorities.

Source: Xinhua


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