Manila - Three people were killed and 22 wounded when a homemade bomb exploded in a southern Philippine town, the military said on Monday.
The blast occurred on Sunday evening at a public plaza in M'lang town in North Cotabato province, 930km south of Manila.
One of the victims died in hospital overnight, army spokesperson Captain Jo-Ann Petinglay said.
Authorities suspect the bombing was the handiwork of militants opposed to a peace deal between the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (Milf), the largest Muslim rebel group, in the southern region of Mindanao.
"The attack is believed to be the handiwork of the Biff, which carried out a series of violent attacks against peaceful communities in the past weeks", military spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Harold Cabunoc said.
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The Biff or the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters broke away from the Milf in 2008.
It was also blamed for a bomb attack near an elementary school in nearby North Cotabato province on November 16, killing one person and wounding 17. Two other explosive devices were found near the school.
The BIFF opposes a peace deal signed between the Milf and the government in March, which would create a new Muslim autonomous entity in Mindanao by 2016, if approved by Congress and ratified in a plebiscite.
The new entity would share political power with the central government and have substantial control over natural resources and revenues generated in Mindanao. Armed conflict in the region has killed more than 100 000 people and displaced millions.