BREAKING NEWS: Manila, Philippines: One Killed As Car-Bomb Hits Governor’s Convoy

15 Aug

Philippines (AP) — A car bomb in the southern Philippines killed one person and wounded seven Monday in an attack targeting a governor who took office after many of his relatives were slain in the country’s worst political massacre in 2009.

Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu said he was shaken but unhurt in the bombing that struck his convoy on a busy highway in Tacurong City in Sultan Kudarat Province. He and his followers were heading to a restaurant to celebrate his birthday.

“The blast was so powerful and I saw one of the cars in my convoy going up in flames,” Mangudadatu told ABS-CBN television network.

Sultan Kudarat police chief Senior Supt. Danilo Peralta said it was not immediately clear whether the person killed by the blast was a pedestrian or a member of the convoy. The bomb consisted of a 105 Howitzer round and was remotely detonated in a parked white car, the military said.

Mangudadatu, an ex-town mayor, rose to prominence in November 2009 when 57 people — including his wife, sisters, supporters and several journalists — were gunned down in Maguindanao in a widely condemned massacre that was blamed on his political rivals.

Mangudadatu’s relatives and supporters were attacked while they were traveling to register his candidacy for governor, a position he later won by a landslide. A powerful family patriarch and former governor, Andal Ampatuan Sr., and a number of his sons are among the 196 people accused in the massacre.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack.

Sultan Kudarat and nearby Maguindanao, about 950 kilometers (590 miles) southeast of Manila, are in a violent region that teems with Muslim guerrillas and warlord clans with private armies.


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