Bus bomb in Manila leaves three dead

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The Independent Online

Three people were killed and at least 30 injured yesterday when a bomb exploded on a bus in the Philippine capital, Manila.

The timing raised suspicions that the perpetrators may have been Muslim radicals. The blast occurred a day after suspected Islamic militants bombed a bazaar in the southern city of Zamboanga, killing seven and injuring scores.

The Manila bomb went off hours after Australia's Prime Minister, John Howard, predicted more violencein South-east Asia. "Further terrorist attacks in the region are very likely," he said during a trip to Bali.

Mr Howard was heckled in public by grieving relatives. "This is all a joke," Andrew Taylor, looking for his missing niece, said. "His visit is too little, too late." He blamed the Prime Minister for delays in processing the Australian dead, who so far make up 114 of the 200 known fatalities.

British relatives yesterday received an apology from the Government for its failure to co-ordinate repatriation of bodies. Baroness Amos apologised during a visit to the blast scene.