FBI, AUSTRALIAN COPS SEEK DAVAO BOMB LINK TO BALI

Davao City, March 14, 2003 -- Experts from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Australian police are sifting evidence from a deadly bombing in Davao City for links to blasts on the Indonesian island of Bali, police said on Thursday. The foreigners assisted local teams in conducting an autopsy on the body of the suspected bomber, killed with 20 others in the March 4 explosion at Davao city airport.

The autopsy results were not immediately known.

"They are here to see if there is any connection between what happened here and the Bali bombings," a Philippine police officer told reporters, referring to blasts last October on the tourist resort that killed 202 people, mainly foreigners.

The officer refused to say what specific evidence the FBI and Australian experts were examining.

Local investigations initially focused on possible similarities between the bomb in the airport blast and explosives used in attacks in Manila in December 2000, which killed 22.

Philippine police have linked militants from Jemaah Islamiah, a Southeast Asian Islamist group said to have ties to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network, to the 2000 blasts. (Al Jacinto, PHNO Mindanao Bureau)


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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