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Bomb explodes in Basilan province

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanao Examiner / May 31, 2012) – A motorcycle bomb exploded Thursday in Isabela City in the southern Philippine province of Basilan, police said.

Police said the explosion occurred at around 12:15 p.m. minutes after the convoy of Vice Mayor Abdulbaki Ajibon passed along the village of Sunrise. “I am sure I was the target of the attack. The motorcycle exploded just minutes after we passed by it,” the politician said.

Police said the motorcycle was parked near the house of Isabela City Mayor Cherryln Akbar, whose husband Basilan Congressman Wahab Akbar, was killed in a 2007 motorcycle bomb attack outside the House of Representatives in Manila.

Police said the bomb was placed inside the tool box of the motorcycle which was parked on the side of the road. No individual claimed responsibility for the blast.

The bombing came three days after Colonel Arthur Ang assumed as new chief of the Army’s 104th Infantry Brigade in Basilan, one of five provinces under the Muslim autonomous region.
Ang, former commander of the 901st Infantry Brigade in Bicol region in Luzon Island, was sacked for failing to prevent a communist rebel attack May 18 at an airport construction site in Albay province. He was replaced by Colonel Ricardo Visaya, the Basilan army commander, as the new 901stInfantry Brigade chief. 

Basilan is a known stronghold of Abu Sayyaf group tied to al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiya, and Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels. (Mindanao Examiner)

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