At least 10 people have been killed and 40 injured in a bomb blast at a packed sports hall in the southern southern Phillipine island of Mindanao.

The bomb exploded inside the crowded gymnasium in the town of Parang. It was apparently aimed at killing the town mayor, Vivencio Bataga, who was injured in the attack, police said.Bataga is a former army colonel who is seeking re-election in the May 2004 polls and police say that he has survived at least three attempts on his life last year.

The island has been at the centre of a revolt lasting for decades by Muslim separatists.