Blast rocks school in Zambo

Tempo, October 23, 2011

Manila, Philippines – A loud explosion ripped through an elementary school in a Zamboanga del Sur town on Friday in what local security officials believed to be part of the diversionary attack allegedly by a Moro rebel group.

Chief Supt. Elpidio de Asis, director of the Zamboanga Peninsula regional police, said the blast occurred right inside the Margosatubig Regional Pilot School in Barangay Poblacion at around 7:10 p.m.

The explosion, he said, damaged two classrooms.

“The explosion is believed caused by a dynamite,” said de Asis in a text message, adding that investigation is still being conducted to identify the persons or groups responsible for the attack.

Another police official, however, said that the attack could be part of the diversionary attacks by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Zamboanga Peninsula region.

“That’s our assessment because there were attacks that occurred a day after the explosion,” said the official, who asked for anonymity over what he described as sensitivity of the issue.

Earlier, the spokesman of the Philippine Army (PA) was sacked from his post allegedly over his suggestion quoted in the media that the peace negotiations with the MILF be lifted to give way for the full scale offensive against those responsible in the death of 19 soldiers in Basilan. (Aaron Recuenco)