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Lawmaker killed in Philippine parliament blast

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Man who apparently was target of blast killed
  • NEW: Police think explosive device was planted on motorcycle nearby
  • Another lawmaker's driver killed, at least eight injured
  • Speaker calls blast a "criminal and despicable act by a terrorist or an anarchist"
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MANILA, Philippines (CNN) -- At least two people were killed Tuesday in an explosion at the entrance of the Philippine parliament, including a lawmaker who apparently was the target of the blast, Chief Geary Barias of the National Regional Capital Police said.

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Police investigators inspect the explosion site at the entrance to the Philippine parliament building.

Barias said Rep. Wahab Akbar of Basilan province -- who has been the subject of threats in the past -- was killed in the 8 p.m. (7 a.m. ET) explosion, which came from a bomb that police believe was planted on a motorcycle near Akbar's vehicle.

At least eight others were injured in the explosion, according to the state-run Philippines News Agency.

Another lawmaker's driver also was killed, Barias said.

The parliamentary session had just ended, and legislators were leaving the building, he said.

Police have received text messages from the Islamist separatist group Abu Sayyaf claiming responsibility for the attack, Barias said, but he added that initial intelligence reports don't bear out that claim.

Two other legislators were among the injured, the police chief said.

Barias said Akbar's role in the politics of the southern Philippines -- where the al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf has been active -- may have made him a target.

Speaker of the House Jose De Venecia condemned what he called a "criminal and despicable act by a terrorist or an anarchist."

Gen. Hermogenes Sesperon, head of the country's armed forces, said troops are at the scene and aiding in the investigation.

Abu Sayyaf operates largely in Basilan province, according to the State Department's Web site, and wants to establish a separate Muslim state for the country's minority Muslim population.

The government has been fighting to contain the group, which is blamed for several terrorist attacks in the country, including the bombing of a superferry in 2004 that left about 130 people dead. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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