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Philippines

Bus bomb kills at least nine in Philippines

Reuters/Cheryl Ravelo

A home-made bomb has killed at least nine people and wounded six others on a bus in the Philippine island of Mindanao, security officials say.

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The bomb went off as the bus was travelling through Matalam Town from Cagayan de Oro, a major port and industrial city, in the southern Philippines.

The bus was carrying about 50 people, many of whom are being treated for shrapnel wounds.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. A military official Lieutenant Colonel Randolf Cabangbang did not name any specific suspects but said that extortion was a possible motive.

“The bus company has long been receiving extortion letters from armed groups operating in the region,” Cabangbang said.

In previous years, armed groups have tried to extort money from bus companies and have been blamed for attacks on bus companies and terminals.

There are left-wing guerrillas and Muslim separatists operating in southern Philippines.

A bomb threat also forced a halt to trading at the Philippine Stock Exchange on Thursday but trading resumed after police cleared the building, officials said.

Police bomb disposal teams and sniffer dogs searched an office tower housing the exchange's trading floor in the financial district of Makati while hundreds of office workers filed out of the building.

 

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