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Bomb kills 1, wounds 16 in southern Philippines

November 17, 2014

KIDAPAWAN, Philippines (AP) — A bomb exploded on a pedestrian overpass in a southern Philippine town threatened by Muslim rebels in the past, killing a student and wounding 16 others late Sunday, police and military officials said.

Soldiers defused two other bombs near the scene of the first blast in the farming town of Kabacan in North Cotabato province, Police Senior Inspector Jarwin Castroberde said.

Four of the victims were brought to a hospital in critical condition, according to Kabacan official David Saure. One of them, a 19-year-old girl, was pronounced dead on arrival in hospital, hospital personnel said.

Castroberde says investigators were trying to identify the attackers but the suspects include breakaway guerrillas opposed to a peace deal between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the largest insurgent group in the south of the largely Roman Catholic nation.

The few hundred breakaway guerrillas have continued occasional attacks against government forces and far-flung communities in the marshy heartland of southern Mindanao region in a futile fight for a separate homeland for minority Muslims.