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Six killed in New Year's Eve bomb blast in Philippines

Published on Jan 1, 2014 11:46 AM

ZAMBOANGA (AFP) - Six revellers were killed and six others wounded in a bomb attack on a New Year's Eve party on a volatile southern Philippine island, the military said on Wednesday.

The improvised device exploded near a Catholic church in the town of Sumisip on Basilan, an island were Al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf militants operate, local army spokesman Captain Jefferson Somera said.

Troops and police who responded to the emergency said the party was taking place at the residence of Manuel Casineros, a pro-government militiaman volunteer and driver for the church.

Police said the motive of the attack was not clear, although Casineros apparently had been helping authorities in protecting rubber plantation workers from extortion by armed gangs, including the Abu Sayyaf.

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