Bombing in Philippines leaves 6 dead

Bangkok, Aug 5 (EFE).- At least six people died and another 29 were wounded Monday when an explosive device blew up on a busy street in Cotabato, a city on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao.

The governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, or ARMM, Mujiv Hataman, confirmed six fatalities in the attack in a statement on dzMM radio.

Cotobato General Hospital admitted 25 of the wounded and Notre Dame Hospital the other four.

"The explosion occurred in front of a shopping mall. It's a business and residential area with a lot of traffic," the governor said.

The bomb was detonated on Sinsuat Avenue in Cotabato at around 4:30 p.m., authorities said.

The device was hidden in a vehicle and the explosion set fire to two businesses, one of them a funeral home, and damaged four vehicles.

Police and soldiers have cordoned off the area.

"This attack proves that terrorists have no respect for human life or property. Their goal is to spread fear," the chief spokesman for the Philippine military, Lt.Col. Ramon Zagala, said.

Armed communist and Islamist groups have operated for decades on Mindanao.

Cotabato, with a population close to 300,000 including both Christians and Muslims, is one of the iconic cities of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.