COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 28 August) — One person was killed while at least 33 others, including two soldiers, were injured when an improvised bomb exploded along the national highway in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat at around 8:34 p.m., just as a military truck passed by, the spokesperson of the 6th Infantry Division said.
“No more happy fiesta,” Isulan resident Peter Evangelista posted on Facebook.
Isulan town is celebrating its 61st anniversary and activities have been lined up for the 7th Hamungaya Festival this week. Tuesday’s schedule included a Family Day and Farmers’ Day.
Capt. Arvin Encinas 6ID spokesperson, said the bomb, placed near a parked motorcycle, exploded in front of the J and H Marketing along the national highway in Barangay Kalawag 3, near the “ukay-ukay” area (stalls selling second hand items).
Senior Superintendent Noel Kinazo, newly installed provincial police chief said the bomb went off around 8:34 pm near a gas station in Barangay Kalawag 3.
Judy Sapto, a resident of Isulan was in the night market when the bomb went off.
“We immediately left the area but I can’t forget the image of a young girl, here shirt bloodstained, being carried by her father,” Sapto recalled.
She said they were told to leave the place as two more bombs were found and defused by bomb experts a few minutes after the first blast.
Col. Robert Dauz of the 1stMechanized Brigade, said two of his troops deployed to secure the area were wounded.
“The enemies are targeting the security forces guarding the festival activity,’ he said.
“It’s obvious that the BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters) with links to ISIS has the strongest desire to initiate this kind of attack,” Encinas said.
Encinas said the 33rd IB reported that the armor protection for the KM truck saved the troops and that the truck received the brunt of the explosion and saved civilians in the vicinity from harm. (Ferdinandh L. Cabrera / MindaNews)