Four dead as blast rips through bus

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Police investigators conduct their investigation on the damage of a bus hit by a bomb blast (AP)

Officials say an explosion has ripped through a passenger bus in the Philippine capital, killing four people and wounding more than a dozen others.

Mayor Junjun Binay of suburban Makati city says the explosion was so powerful that it punched a hole in a nearby concrete fence.

Binay says the damage caused by the explosion indicated it was a bomb.

Metro Manila police chief Nicanor Bartolome said that an explosive must have been placed in the middle of the bus based on the vehicle’s damage.

Fragments of what appeared to be a mortar round and cell phone parts were recovered at the scene.

The bus was approaching a commuter railway station when the blast occurred inside the vehicle, punching holes in windows and immediately killing a female passenger, said Mr Binay. Three men were also killed, according to police. It wasn’t immediately clear how many people were on the bus, but some were unharmed.

Bus driver Maximo Peligro told reporters he continued driving for several more yards before stopping. Panicked passengers crowded the exit door, prompting him to kick out part of the windscreen so people could jump from the vehicle.

The driver said he smelled gunpowder and the explosion was so loud his hearing was impaired for about 30 minutes.

President Benigno Aquino III said the government had received intelligence last year that terrorist groups were plotting bombings, but at the time none of the groups appeared to have the resources to carry out the plans.

He said he directed his national security adviser to reassess those threats, but he declined to name any suspects.

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