Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bombs found aboard Philippines ferry

Twelve bombs were found hidden inside a bathroom in a ferry in the central Philippines, raising fears of another bombing campaign by suspected Islamic militants.

The improvised explosive devices, made of bottles with gunpowder, blasting caps, shrapnel and wiring, were found hidden in a sack in the bathroom of the MV Blue Water Princess on Saturday just as it was about to depart the city of Lucena for the central island of Masbate. It was not clear if the bombs were intended to go off inside the ferry or were to be used elsewhere. The discovery of the bombs also came just days before President Gloria Arroyo is scheduled to make her annual State of the Nation Address (SONA) to Congress.

The government had warned there may be attempts to disrupt the speech and has deployed more security forces as a precaution.

Earlier this month, a spate of bombings in the southern Philippines left about a dozen dead and 100 wounded. The blasts were largely blamed on Muslim extremists.
The extremist group the Abu Sayyaf is blamed for the country’s worst terror attack in which more than 100 people were killed in the bombing of a ferry in 2004.

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