Philippine President hunts down terrorists

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Monday ordered the police and the military to hunt down the people involved in the ferry blast in the southern Philippines.

President Arroyo condemned in a statement the terrorist attack on Sunday morning in Basilan leaving 30 injured as a "crime against peace and humanity."

"We shall continue to comb all the known lairs of terrorist cells in the cities and countryside and cripple if not decimate them," Arroyo was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

The military has confirmed that the blast was caused by a home-made bombing, which was usually used by the Abu Sayyaf rebels. However, so far nobody has claimed responsibility for the attack.

"Terrorism will always strive to frustrate our efforts at peaceand development and disrupt the day-to-day to enterprise of ordinary citizens but we shall not be cowed," she added.

The president also expressed the sympathy with the victims, seven of whom were children, and vowed to provide them with the government assistance, according to Xinhua.

The ferry attack occurred 18 months after suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits bombed the Super Ferry 14 near Manila, killing more than 100 people.

According to a report from the South Korean intelligence authorities, the Philippines has been listed as an attack target by al-Qaeda terrorist group, and the government earlier again raised the public alert and urged the Congress to pass the anti-terrorism law.

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