Manila, Philippines (CNN) -- At least 10 people were killed Thursday when a bomb blew up on a bus in the southern Philippines, police said.
The incident occurred Thursday morning on the Kabacan-Matalam national highway in the town of Matalam in North Cotabato, on the island of Mindanao -- in the largely Muslim south.
The state-run Philippines News Agency reported 30 injuries, and Gil Meneses, the regional police director, told CNN that nine of them were serious.
Meneses said police think the bombing was orchestrated by Al-Khobar, a splinter group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which carries out such attacks for money.
There have been previous attacks on buses, killing or injuring dozens for extortion. Al-Khobar and other militants have been blamed for the previous strikes.
Citing police, the news agency reported that Moro militants carried out the act after one of its officials was arrested recently.
Three unidentified men boarded the bus along the highway in Kabacan and left in Matalam, authorities said.
Minutes later, an improvised explosive device, that police say was fashioned from a mortar cartridge and triggered by a mobile phone, detonated.
The bus conductor was among those instantly killed, Meneses said.
The province of North Cotabato is just to the east of Maguindanao, the site of some of the worst politically motivated violence in recent Philippine history.
In November 2009, at least 57 people were killed when their convoy was ambushed in Maguindanao. The former mayor of the province is accused of plotting the deaths to thwart a political rival.
Maguindanao is part of an autonomous region in predominantly Muslim Mindanao, which was set up in the 1990s to quell armed uprisings by people seeking an independent Muslim homeland in the Philippines, a predominantly Christian country.
Resource From: CNN