Philippine police say they've foiled what could have been a disastrous bombing of a gas station in the country's south.
Regional police chief Charles Calima Jr. says an attendant found a homemade bomb in a plastic bag that was placed near a gas pump at a gas station in General Santos city late Sunday. The bomb was made from two mortar rounds and wired to a cellphone.
Calima says police cordoned off the area and defused the bomb. Witnesses suspect it was left by two men who were seen moving about suspiciously in the area before the explosives were discovered.
General Santos, a bustling port city about 1,030 kilometers (640 miles) southeast of Manila, has been targeted in the past by al-Qaida-linked militants and extortion gangs.
A series of deadly bomb attacks set off a security alarm in the south four months ago, including a July 26 blast at a crowded bar that killed eight people and wounded more than 40 others in Cagayan de Oro city. A little-known Muslim militant group called Khilafa Islamiyah Mindanao was blamed for the attack.
In August, a bomb rigged in a small van killed eight people and wounded dozens of others during rush hour in southern Cotabato city in an attack blamed on a Muslim rebel faction that opposes peace talks with the government.