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ICC Note: Although it doesn’t appear that Christians were targeted directly in a car bomb attack in the Southern Philippines that killed eight on Monday, the attack does have implications for the Christian community in the area. For years radical Islamic groups have been waging a war against the Philippine government in an attempt to create a separate Islamic state. As part of this conflict Christian missionaries and ministers have been kidnapped and held for ransom and Christian villages have been raided. The Philippine government had recently announced progress in making a peace deal, but the attack on Monday indicates that some elements of the armed Islamic groups are not happy with the arrangement and may continue attacking civilians. 
8/6/2013 The Philippines (AsiaNews) – Eight people were killed in a car bomb attack yesterday in one of the busiest streets of Cotabato, a city on the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines, the scene of a decades long conflict between Manila troops and Islamist rebels. The bomb was placed in a vehicle and also wounded more than 30 people, some in seriously; fragments and splinters have reached nearby buildings, which caught fire. This is the second deadly attack in Mindanao in just ten days. On 26 July, a bombing killed eight people.
Police and security forces closed the area around Sinsuat Avenue in Cotabato to traffic, the city is about 900 km from the capital and is inhabited by Christian and Muslim communities. In recent years it has been the scene of violent attacks by Islamic extremist groups and organized criminal gangs. For investigators yesterday’s target could have been a top local official (the administrator Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi), whose car was in the area where the explosion took place.
Cotabato police chief Rolen Balquin reports that four people died on the spot while the others died in hospital overnight. Sayadi, the alleged target of the attack, was not injured but one of her bodyguards died in the explosion, the woman is also the sister of the mayor Japal Guiani, often the subject to death threats.
The head of National Security ordered the strengthening of controls and intelligence work in the southern Philippines, in the fear of fresh attacks. Among the possible targets shopping areas and other crowded places.

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