Insp. Elias Dandan, Pikit police chief, said the saleslady, whom they would rather not identify, discovered the IED placed inside a handbag left by someone pretending to be a customer. The bag reportedly contained a small tin can with a nine-volt battery attached to a Nokia mobile phone used as triggering device.
The owner of the Filipinas Grocery Store, Cecilia Filipinas-Coles, immediately sought help from authorities.
Shortly after, operatives of the 66th Explosives and Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team led by Sgt. Joseph Salihid based in nearby Midsayap, North Cotabato arrived to defuse the bomb.
Dandan said a few days ago, the owner of the grocery store received extortion threats from a still unidentified group.
This morning’s discovery of the bomb came a day after another improvised bomb exploded inside Room 319 of the Agong Lodging House in Cotabato City. Two of its workers were wounded, said Sr. Supt. Wilfredo Dangane, city police director.
The IED was reportedly fashioned after a mortar projectile rigged with a battery-operated blasting mechanism. It was apparently planted by two men who occupied the room, police said.
Lodging house manager Datu Teng Walih said the bomb was so powerful that it shattered the room’s walls and the glass panes of adjoining cubicles. (Malu Cadelina-Manar/MindaNews)