A bomb that exploded outside the Philippine House of Representatives killed a former Muslim rebel-turned-congressman who had backed a US-Philippine offensive against Islamic militants. A lawmaker's driver and a legislative staffer also died.
The remotely detonated bomb late Tuesday collapsed the ceiling at the building's entrance, damaged cars and injured seven people, including one congresswomen and one congressman. Their injuries were not life threatening.
Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno said the target appeared to be Rep. Wahab Akbar, a former rebel who as governor of southern Basilan province gave his support to military operations against al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf guerrillas. Akbar died of wounds in a hospital, police said.
Puno sought to play down the possible involvement of Muslim extremists, however, saying the investigation was "pointing away from terrorist attack and more of a directed assault on a certain individual."
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