Passenger bus blown up in Philippines

The news agency “Associated Press” reports that on October 21, in the Philippines on the island of Mindanao, a passenger bus was blown up.

The bus exploded when it was passing through the town of Matalam, Cotabato province. So according to preliminary data, the explosive device was placed in the luggage compartment above, right above the heads of the passengers. It is also noted that more than fifty people were traveling on the bus that day.

The explosion killed seven passengers on the spot. The explosion was so strong that several of the dead passengers had their heads blown off. Nine more people (six, according to Agence France-Presse) were seriously injured.

At the moment, none of the known radical groups has claimed responsibility for the attack. However, police believe that the explosion may have been caused by gunmen who had repeatedly extorted large sums of money from the owners of the bus company in question. According to investigators, it is possible that the attack was intended to intimidate businessmen who did not want to cooperate with the group.

It is worth noting that in the southern Philippines, where the situation has long been considered turbulent, blackmail and extortion of firms involved in transport carriers, as well as the commission of terrorist attacks to intimidate them is a common practice. So one of the most influential groups in the region is the Islamist group El-Khubar, which during its existence has repeatedly blown up business offices and buses if their owners refused to pay “tolls”.

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