A bomb apparently meant for a U.S. government facility in Manila's financial district prematurely exploded Saturday, killing one Iraqi man and wounding another, police said.

The blast at 6:30 p.m. on Buendia Avenue came two days after the armed forces in the Philippines went on alert after war erupted in the Persian Gulf, fearing Iraq would carry out its threat of global terrorist strikes.Police Lt. Jack Nayra said the explosion killed Ahmad G. Ahmad, an Iraqi businessman who came to Manila in December. Nayra said Ahmad was identified from the Iraqi passport found at the scene of the explosion.

The seriously wounded man was identified as Abdul Satar Kasham, also an Iraqi, Nayra said. He was undergoing surgery at the Makati Medical Center, doctors said.

Nayra said said witnesses saw the two Iraqis walking toward the building housing the U.S. Information Service and the Thomas Jefferson Library.

"When they came at a tree near the office they stopped and tinkered with the device placed in a paper bag. The bomb apparently exploded prematurely," said Nayra. He said the two were believed to be targeting the U.S. library.

It was the first bombing to hit the capital since a series of more than 50 explosions between August and October last year in which several dozen people were wounded. Most of the bombings were blamed on rebel soldiers who have tried seven times to oust President Corazon Aquino.

Officials have stepped up security at the airport and diplomatic missions in the capital following Iraqi threats of terrorist strikes if it were attacked by the U.S.-led international force deployed in the Persian Gulf.