Philippine President Aquino links militants, rebels to deadly bombings
DAVAO (AFP) - President Benigno Aquino linked for the first time Islamic militants and breakaway Muslim rebels on Thursday to a recent spate of deadly bombings in the Philippines.
A total of 14 people were killed in two blasts on the southern island of Mindanao on July 26 and August 5, with 76 others wounded in the attacks. Seven soldiers were also wounded in a roadside bomb attack in Mindanao on Wednesday.
The authorities now believe the attacks were linked to security operations against the Abu Sayyaf Islamic militant group and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), Mr Aquino said in the Mindanao city of Davao.
"There is a theory that all of these bombings are related to that, to lessen the pressure of ongoing follow-up operations against these BIFF elements," he told reporters on the sidelines of a business conference.