Asia-Pacific

Manila bus bombing death toll rises to five

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Media captionEdwin Lacierda, presidential spokesman: 'We are yet to determine the exact type of explosive device that caused the blast'

Police in the Philippines have recovered fragments of a bomb that exploded on a bus in Manila, as the toll from the attack rose to five.

Investigators said that they had found part of a mobile phone which they believe was used to trigger the bomb.

They were looking for two men who left the bus shortly before the blast occurred, local media said.

The explosion happened at 1400 (0600 GMT) on Tuesday as the bus drove through the Makati business district.

Thirteen other people were injured in the explosion, which police said was caused by a bomb hidden under a seat.

Officials do not know who was behind the attack. But investigators said the device used was similar to bombs used by Muslim militants in parts of the southern Philippines.

"The fact that... the device used was an improvised explosive device similar to the ones used by terrorist organisations in the southern Philippines raises the possibility it was a terrorist attack," presidential national security advisor Cesar Garcia told local media.

The Abu Sayyaf militant group has in the past carried out attacks in Manila. More than 100 people died when the group bombed a ferry in February 2004 just after it had left the capital.

The al-Qaeda-linked group, which is now mainly concentrated in remote parts of the south, was also blamed for a bus bombing in Manila in 2005.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which has fought Philippine troops for decades in Mindanao but is preparing to restart peace talks with the government, has denied any role in the bombing.