Abu Sayyah terrorists bomb ferry in the Philippines
August 28, 2005
MANILA, Aug. 28 (Xinhuanet) -- The Philippine military confirmed that the blast which took place on a ferry Sunday morning in Basilan, southern Philippines, was a terrorist attack staged with a home-made bomb, but it has yet to decide who was behind the attack..
Military spokesman Buenaventura Pascual said it is "early to tell" if the local terrorist group Abu Sayyaf has staged the attack on M/V. Dona Romona at Dangkalan wharf in Lamitan town around 07:00 a.m. local time, in which at lest 30 people were injured, six of them seriously.
Pascual said investigation is going on to determine the identity of the attackers.
Military investigators earlier said the explosion was caused by a cooking gas tank but they later said an improvised explosive device (IED) placed in the kitchen area of the ship caused the blast.
"It appears to have been caused by an IED that was earlier left near or on top of the counter of the ship's canteen," said Pascual, adding that bomb experts found on the site incendiary materials.
"The fume or odor observed after the explosion was that of gunpowder or some kind of chemical. Earlier suspicion of a liquefied petroleum gas blow out was temporarily set aside as there was no tank near that area when it happened," he said.
He called the attack "terrorist" in nature but would not immediately finger-point the Abu Sayyaf group, which launched two simultaneous attacks in neighboring Zamboanga City three weeks ago.
In February 2004, Abu Sayyaf group detonated a bomb inside the Super Ferry 14 ship near the Manila Bay, killing more than 100 passengers and wounding several hundred more.
Basilan is known as a lair of the Abu Sayyaf group and other militants allegedly linked with the Southeast Asia-based terror group Jemmah Islamiyah. Enditem