Manila blast toll rises to four

The death toll from a powerful bomb at the Philippine parliament has risen to four, among them an MP, officials say.

Muslim congressman Wahab Akbar, who police say was the target of Tuesday's attack, died soon after and was buried in his home province of Basilan.

An aide to Mr Akbar has now died in hospital from injuries from the blast that hit the House of Representatives.

Witnesses said the ground shook and parts of the ceiling collapsed at the complex, north of the capital Manila.

Abu Sayyaf

The government has offered five million pesos ($116,000; 58,000) for information leading to the arrest of those who carried out the attack.

Manila police chief Geary Barias said investigations pointed to a bomb planted on a motorcycle parked near Mr Akbar's car.

"It looks like the congressman was the target of the attack," Mr Barias told reporters.

A family friend, Sandra Cam, told AFP the congressman was directly hit by the blast that tore through the south wing of the complex, also killing Mr Akbar's driver and a second aide.

Mr Akbar, 47, had twice served as governor of Basilan, an island in the south of the Philippines used by the Islamist group Abu Sayyaf as a base for launching kidnapping and bombing raids.

Police said Mr Akbar had been a member of Abu Sayyaf himself before being elected to congress - although he repeatedly denied any links to insurgent groups.

Officials said it was not clear whether the attack was linked to the separatist group.

The US has listed Abu Sayyaf as a terrorist organisation and says it has links to al-Qaeda.

14/11/2007

Bron : BBC News

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