A powerful explosion destroyed a parked car on September 16, 2013 in downtown Zamboanga in southern Philippines where security forces are battling Moro National Liberation Front rebels the past week that killed and wounded dozens of people. Police initially says the blast was caused by a mortar attack, but bomb experts are also investigating whether an improvised explosive triggered the explosion. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)
ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 16, 2013) – A powerful explosion on Wednesday destroyed a parked car in downtown Zamboanga in southern Philippines, but there were no reports of casualties from the blast.
The explosion occurred as government troops were battling Moro National Liberation Fro
Police initially said the blast was caused by a mortar attack, but bomb experts are also investigating whether an improvised explosive triggered the explosion.
The owner of the car was not immediately known, but policemen cordoned off the area along Camino Nuevo to allow bomb experts to gather enough evidence to be able to determine the cause of the explosion.
Shock waves from the powerful blast also broke glass windows around the area and caused panic among residents already distressed and scared from the fierce fighting in Zamboanga that had killed and wounded dozens of people since the violence broke out.
Hundreds of rebels fighting for independence occupied several villages and took over 180 civilians and use them as shield against thousands of troops battling the MNLF under Nur Misuari, who signed a peace accord with Manila in 1996.
But Misuari accused the Aquino government of reneging on the peal deal and launched a new rebellion, the second in more than a decade. In 2001, loyal forces of Misuari also attacked military bases in Zamboanga City and Jolo town in Sulu province and the clashes killed over 100 people.
Two MG-520 helicopters on Monday fired rockets on MNLF targets in the villages of Santa Barbara and Santa Catalina, but one missile exploded near a group of soldiers and wounded several of them. Troops, supported by armoured vehicles, continue to advance, although slowly, to areas held by rebels led by Ustadz Haber Malik, a trusted lieutenant of Misuari. (Mindanao Examiner)