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Sunday, February 29, 2004

"Powerful explosion" on ferry in the Phillipines?

Divers from the Philippine Coast Guard approach the burnt Super Ferry
14 ship Saturday, Feb. 28, 2004 in Mariveles northwest of Manila. The
passenger ferry caught fire yesterday following a powerful explosion
that killed at least two people , injured 12 others and left more than
100 missing. (AP Photo/Pat Roque)
AP Asia: MARIVELES, Philippines - The Muslim extremist group Abu Sayyaf claimed responsibility Sunday for a ferry explosion and fire that killed at least two people, though 180 more were missing, according to a radio report.

The Radio Mindanao Network said Abu Sayyaf spokesman Abu Sulaiman claimed Friday's explosion was revenge for government attacks in the southern Mindanao area. Abu Sayyaf has often called the radio network in the past.

Fire raced through the Superferry 14 on Friday shortly after it left Manila for central and southern islands, killing one person and injuring 12 others. Witnesses reported a powerful explosion that sparked an inferno.

The fire occurred the same day that two alleged Abu Sayyaf members were convicted of kidnapping an American in 2000 and another was arraigned in a separate mass abduction.