3 dead, 17 injured in Philippine airbase blast

May 29th, 2008 - 3:30 pm ICT by admin  

Manila, May 29 (Xinhua) Three civilians were killed and 17 injured when an improvised bomb exploded near an airbase in the southern Philippine city of Zamboanga Thursday. The explosive device went off at around 10 a.m. (0200 GMT) near the gate of the Edwin Andrews Airbase in Zamboanga, regional police chief Jaime Caringal said.

“All casualties are civilians,” Caringal said, adding that the police was probing the case.

Reports said the shrapnel from the explosion also damaged the office of congress member Beng Climaco and several other premises located in front of the airbase. But there was no damage to the air base.

Police have arrested three people and impounded a van in connection with their investigation.

Caringal said a group of reporters were also in Edwin Andrews airbase, waiting to board a military plane to far-flung island of Tawi-Tawi to cover the day trip of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The officer said armed rebel group Moro Islam Liberation Front and the more violent Abu Sayyaf extremist group were singled out as most probable suspects.

No group has claimed responsibility.

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