RealNews

But Sayyaf Claims Responsibility for Blast

The al-Qaeda linked Abu Sayyaf group claimed responsibility yesterday for the bombing in this city that left at least 21 people dead, and warned that there would be more attacks. However, Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes and other government officials expressed doubt that the Abu Sayyaf was responsible. “We should not take that claim very seriously. They operate in another area,” Reyes said after briefing President Arroyo, who flew here early yesterday to oversee the investigation of the bombing. An Abu Sayyaf leader told ABS-CBN television yesterday that his group staged the bombing and regretted there were many casualties. He warned of more attacks to cripple the economy. The Abu Sayyaf, noted for its kidnappings and beheading of victims who fail to pay ransom, had been classified a terrorist group by Washington for its alleged links to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network. A regional terror group, the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), which foreign governments say is the Southeast Asian chapter of the al-Qaeda, has also been accused of carrying out bombings in the region, including the Bali attack in October last year. Full Story

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