Grenade attack wounds Philippines revellers

01:43, Jan 31 2009

A grenade hurled into a crowd of New Year Eve revellers in the southern Philippines has wounded at least 25 people, officials said.

Hundreds of people had gathered for a street party in General Santos City when the grenade exploded, said Mayor Pedro Acharon. At least six of the wounded were policemen deployed there to control the celebrating crowd, he told reporters at the site.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack but General Santos has often been targeted by Islamist radicals.

On Tuesday night, a motor tricycle exploded after it was stopped at a police checkpoint north of the town, killing the driver and wounding one policeman.

Police said a bomb had apparently been concealed within a load of charcoal being carried on the tricycle.

Many of the Philippines' Muslim minority live in the impoverished south of the archipelago. Bandit gangs, communist rebels and Islamist radicals all operate in the area.