Philippine police have arrested several people in connection with a bomb attack that killed at least 19 people and wounded at least 147 others at a busy airport in the Muslim-dominated southern part of the country.
A statement issued by President Gloria Arroyo condemned the blast as a brazen act of terrorism that will not go unpunished. It said several men are in custody on suspicion of murder.
It was not immediately clear who placed the bomb, which was hidden in a backpack, but authorities listed as potential suspects the communist New People's Army and the Muslim militant group, Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The MILF on Tuesday denied responsibility for the airport bombing and said it is ready to cooperate in an investigation.
The explosion ripped through the front of a domestic terminal at Davao City airport on southern Mindanao island, minutes after a domestic airliner touched down.
Scores of people were waiting for arriving passengers. Authorities say one American missionary died and three other U-S citizens were hurt.
President Bush denounced the bombing, saying the White House will work with the Philippine government to find those responsible. A White House spokesman says the bombing underscores the seriousness of terrorist threats in the Southern Philippines.