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Philippines Charges Suspects in Ferry Bombing - 2004-10-11

Authorities in the Philippines have charged six al-Qaeda-linked rebels with the bombing of a ferry in February that killed more than 100 people.

Initially the government said the explosion and fire that sank the superferry were probably caused by an accident, but investigators Monday said the blast was caused by a bomb.

President Gloria Arroyo said that two members of the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group are in custody, while four, including the two masterminds of the bombing, are still at large.

Ms. Arroyo said the men in custody are also responsible for a mass abduction in 2001 from the Dos Palmas resort on the island of Palawan that left several hostages dead, two of them Americans.

The Philippine leader named the masterminds of the bombing as Khaddafy Janjalani and Abu Sulaiman. Mr. Janjalani, the leader of Abu Sayyaf, allegedly sent an extortion letter to the company that operated the ferry demanding $1 million.