Third Philippine bomb blast counts 13 victims

A HOMEMADE bomb exploded near a Roman Catholic church last night in the southern Philippine city of Zamboanga, killing one person and injuring 12, police said.

The bombing came after twin blasts tore through two department stores last Thursday in Zamboanga, a predominantly Christian port city about 530 miles south of Manila. Those explosions killed seven people and injured more than 150.

The Radio Mindanao Network identified the one death as a Filipino marine corporal assigned to guard the church's gate. He died en route to hospital.

The bomb attack also followed two other bombings in Manila on Friday. A grenade went off in Makati, the Philippines’ main financial district, but no one was hurt in the blast. Later, a bomb ripped open a bus in the capital, killing two people and injuring 20. Security officials suspect the Zamboanga blasts may have been staged by the Muslim extremist group Abu Sayyaf, linked to al-Qaida, or Muslim separatists intent on diverting ongoing military offensives.

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