Philippines police said Saturday they believe the Jemaah Islamiyah militant network was behind a bomb attack in the south in which at least one child died.
Police chief Avelino Razon said Friday’s attacks bore the “signature” of the Jemaah Islamiyah, which has links with local Muslim extremists such as the Abu Sayyaf.
An eight-year-old girl was killed when the two bombs exploded on a busy street in the southern city of Kidapawan Friday. More than 30 others, mostly students, were wounded in the blasts.
Police had said a second child had died of her injuries, but later said this was a mistake.
Military spokesman Julieto Ando said they were looking at the possibility that an outlawed local Muslim group, the al-Khobar, who had received explosives training from the JI, were behind the blasts.
Razon also put police forces across the country on alert to prevent a repeat of the two blasts, which occurred minutes apart.
Kidapawan, a popular tourist destination near the country’s highest peak, is mostly Christian.
In January, two people were injured in a bombing in the city believed to have been the work of Islamic militants.
The latest attacks came as the military hunts down Abu Sayyaf and JI rebels on the nearby islands of Jolo and Basilan. Both groups are said to be linked to Al-Qaeda.
The Philippine military has been hunting two JI rebels, suspects in the Bali bombings that killed about 200 people, for more than a year with no success, despite intelligence support from the US military