10 injured in Sultan Kudarat blast

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 22 Nov) —  At least 10 persons, including a six-year old boy, were injured in an explosion along the national highway fronting the Capitol grounds Saturday night, on the eve of the 42nd anniversary of Sultan Kudarat province.

The province is celebrating the Kalimudan Festival which culminates on Sunday, November 22, the 42nd anniversary of the province.

A tricycle loaded with inflatable toys ply the highway in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat province where residents are celebrating the Kalimudan Festival. At least 10 persons were injured in an explosion along the national highway fronting the provincial capitol grounds evening of Saturday, November 21, 2015. MIndaNews photo taken Saturday morning by Toto Lozano A tricycle loaded with inflatable toys ply the highway in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat province where residents are celebrating the Kalimudan Festival. At least 10 persons were injured in an explosion along the national highway fronting the provincial capitol grounds evening of Saturday, November 21, 2015. MindaNews photo taken Saturday morning by Toto Lozano

The blast occurred at around 8:20 p.m. along the national highway while the Executive Night festivity was going on in the provincial gymnasium and hundreds of residents were inside the Capitol grounds and along the highway where stalls selling dry goods and food had been set up .

Initial investigations by conducted by the Sultan Kudarat Provincial Public Safety Force under its commanding officer, Supt. Jemuel Siason, showed the explosion was caused by a grenade.

Henry Albamo, chief of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office said the following were rushed to the nearby provincial hospital: Linda Baltazar, 49; Lilibeth Fermalino, 45; Almaser Ibrahim, 22; Annjanette Latip, 21;Jasper Lindan, 11; Darius Padilla, 6; Sahid Salendab, 27; Abix Sandigan, 33; Regine Semsam, 42; and Marissa Joy Villanueva, 35.

The stretch of the national highway fronting the Capitol had earlier been blocked off and motorists were made to take a detour behind the Capitol as part of the tight security measures imposed. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera / MindaNews)