Blast hits Philippine governor's convoy; one dead

MANILA Mon Aug 15, 2011 7:09am EDT

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MANILA (Reuters) - One man was killed and seven people injured in the southern Philippines on Monday when a car bomb exploded next to the convoy of a provincial governor, whose supporters were massacred in 2009, police and army officials said.

Esmael Mangudadatu, governor of Maguindanao province on the southern island of Mindanao, escaped unhurt, army spokesman Colonel Prudencio Asto told reporters.

An improvised explosive device placed in a parked car was detonated as the mayor's convoy passed, Asto added.

Mangudadatu told a television interview he was the target of the attack. The third car in his seven-vehicle convoy was hit by the explosion.

"I was in a bullet-proof car several cars away from the explosion," he said, adding the convoy was on its way to his birthday party.

In November 2009, 57 family members, supporters and journalists traveling to see the filing of Mangudadatu's papers to stand in elections were massacred in the Philippines' worst incident of election violence.

Members of a rival clan are among nearly 200 people charged with the 2009 murders.

No group has claimed responsibility for Monday's bomb attack. A small group of Jemaah Islamiah-linked Muslim rebels has been blamed for previous bombings in the city.

(Reporting by Manny Mogato; Editing by John Mair and Yoko Nishikawa)

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