Three die in Manila bus blast
MANILA, Philippines -- An explosion ripped through a bus Friday night on the northern outskirts of Manila, killing three people and injuring a number of others.
It was not immediately clear what caused the explosion, which took place shortly after 10 p.m. (10 a.m. EDT).
Authorities told local reporters the explosion began in the rear of the bus and tore through to the front, destroying the vehicle.
Injured passengers were taken to a hospital and the bodies of the three fatalities were left aboard the bus.
Philippines authorities were already searching for four suspects believed to be responsible for a bomb attack which killed seven and injured 162 in the southern Philippines Thursday.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo visited the site of the explosion which hit two department stores in the southern Philippine city of Zamboanga. She told reporters that suspects had been identified and were currently being sought by troops and police, according to Reuters news agency.
Arroyo condemned the attacks but would not say whether it was the work of Muslim radicals. However, southern region military commander Lt. Gen. Narciso Abaya said there were links between this attack and others by the Abu Sayyaf guerillas, a group linked to al Qaeda, Reuters reported.
According to Lt. Col. Danilo Servando, a Philippine military spokesman, there were a total of seven bombs. Police either defused or detonated five of the devices, but two others exploded.
The first bomb went off at the Shop-o-Rama department store in the city at about 11:40 a.m. local time (0340 GMT), killing at least three people.
Shortly afterwards, as police were defusing another bomb at the same location, a second bomb exploded at another department store about a block away, killing at least one person and wounding several others.
Police described the bombs as incendiary explosive devices and believe they may have been detonated by timers.
One unidentified teenager, pressing a white towel to her forehead at the medical center, told ABS-CBN television that she was walking in front of Shop-o-Rama when she heard a loud explosion.
"I fell down and blood was oozing from my forehead," The Associated Press reported her as saying, adding that she had soaked through three towels and also had an arm injury but was being sent home after treatment, apparently to make room for more seriously injured victims.
Zamboanga is a predominantly Christian city, with a population of 700,000 people.
An October 2 blast in Zamboanga killed four people, including a U.S. Green Beret commando, and injured about two dozen others.
Officials blamed the attack on the Muslim extremist group Abu Sayyaf -- tied to Osama bin Laden's terrorist network -- which warned a week earlier it would mount attacks on civilian, military and U.S. targets to retaliate for the ongoing government offensive against Muslim rebels in the southern Philippines.
Just over a week later, on October 10, an attack in a crowded bus station in Kidapawan city -- also in the southern Philippines -- killed six people and wounded ten others
The latest bombings come on the heels of a deadly terrorist attack on the Island of Bali in Indonesia that killed more than 180 people over the weekend.
Indonesian Defense Minister Matori Abdul Djalil has implicated al Qaeda for the Saturday night explosions in a Bali entertainment district.
-- CNN Correspondent Maria Ressa contributed to this report