Two killed, eight hurt in Basilan blast

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Apr 03 2009 10:06 PM | Updated as of Apr 06 2009 12:58 AM

ZAMBOANGA - Two people were killed and eight wounded late Friday when a bomb exploded outside a restaurant in the troubled southern Philippines, police said.

The explosion on Basilan island off this port city caused a power outage in one section of the provincial capital, Isabela city, according to a police report.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the blast, which killed two pedestrians and hurt eight others.

However the island is a known stronghold of Abu Sayyaf Islamic militants, whose comrades are holding a two foreign Red Cross aid workers hostage on the neighbouring island of Jolo.

The gunmen freed a third International Committee of the Red Cross hostage, a Filipina, late Thursday.

A roadside bomb set off by the group elsewhere on Jolo wounded six soldiers earlier Friday, according to an updated military report.

The Abu Sayyaf was set up in the early 1990s and was initially funded by Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.