MANILA, Philippines -- Authorities blamed Moslem guerrillas today for two bombs that ripped through a crowded ferryboat and a marketplace in a southern port city, killing six people and injuring 83 others.
Three of the dead and 50 wounded were taken from the ferry docked at Pagadian port after the blast Sunday night sent dozens of terrified passengers leaping overboard to escape, authorities said.
Officials said three more people were killed and 33 were injured by a second bomb that exploded in a market in Pagadian, the capital of Zamboanga de Sur province, 500 miles sought of Manila.
They were the worst bomb attacks believed by authorities to have been carried out in 1982 by the Moro National Liberation Front, a Moslem separatist group.
Brig. Gen. Cirilo Bueno, regional chief of the paramilitary Philippine Constabulary, said today the attack at Pagadian may have been carried out by the MNLF as part of its 'usual terroristic activities.'
'These (MNLF guerrillas) are really people who are out to disturb our holidays,' said Civil Defense Director Modesto Ancheta.
The inter-island ferry, the Santa Lucia, was about to sail with about 800 passengers when a homemade bomb exploded on the second deck, punching a hole 6 inches in diameter through the floor and sending terrified passengers jumping overboard, authorities said.
'Most of the injured suffered fractures,' said Dr. Victor Pajares of the Pagadian provincial hospital. 'People aboard panicked and ran out of the vessel. Some jumped into the water.'
The other bomb exploded at the gate of a market, destroying five stores and four motorized ricshaws.
Pajares said the market bomb went off after most shoppers were gone.
'Had it happened earlier more people would have been hurt,' he said.
The MNLF has been spearheading a war for Moslem self-rule in the Mindanao-Sulu region. Fighting since the secessionist movement began in 1972 has claimed more than 60,000 lives.
Several bomb attacks were reported at Pagadian early this year but no fatalities were reported.