4 women hurt in Cotabato blast

Three of the victims have been identified so far — Maricel Aman Basea,22; Norberta Carbonel Adam, 48; and Cherry Mundai Samanodi, 49. All are residents of Datu Piang town in Maguindanao.

Col. Jonathan Ponce, civil military operations officer and spokesman for the 6th Infantry Division, said they recovered from the crime scene a blasting cap, believed to be part of the IED in today’s explosion.

Ponce said the bombing could be a retaliation of a lawless group operating in Maguindanao and neighboring areas to the offensives earlier launched by the military against rogue Moro rebel leader Ameril Umbra Kato.

But he lamented in a radio interview that the group is targeting innocent civilians purposely to sow terror.

Earlier in the day, an improvised bomb was defused by bomb experts in Pikit town in North Cotabato. (Malu Cadeliña Manar / MindaNews)