COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/18 December) – A homemade bomb reportedly thrown from a bus exploded at a mango orchard along the national highway in Carmen, North Cotabato at about 3 p.m. today.
Initial reports reaching Chief Supt. Felicisimo Khu, Director for Integrated Police Operations in Western Mindanao, said the improvised
explosive device (IED) may have been thrown from a Rural Transit bus bound for Cagayan de Oro City from Tacurong City in Sultan Kudarat.
No one was reported hurt.
“It is theorized that the set time was short and the courier had to throw (the IED) outside the bus,” Khu said.
The explosion occurred in barangay Tacupan, a kilometer before reaching the bus terminal in Carmen town.
Senior Superintendent Cornelio Salinas, North Cotabato Police Provincial Director, said that based on the initial details they got,
“the bomber had decided to leave his bag loaded with explosive along the national highway and took a ride in another bus going to Bukidnon
before it could explode on its set time”,Salinas said.
Text messages had earlier circulated in the province about threats to launch attacks in terminals and highly populated areas during the
North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Mendoza said these threats are part of a massive campaign of lawless groups doing extortion activities in the
province. She assured residents measures are being undertaken to ensure their security.
“We are just lucky this time that no one got hurt. We the provincial officials remain true to this challenge and we urge the people to be
more vigilant,” she said.
Police suspect the Al Khobar group to be behind the spate of explosions, targeting the Rual Transit bus line which ferries passengers between Tacurong and Cagayan de Oro cities.
On October 21, 11 persons were killed and several passengers injured in a powerful blast inside a Rural Transit bus along the national highway in Matalam, town while the bus was heading towards Tacurong City.
Less than a month later, on November 16, one student was killed while two others were wounded when an improvised explosive went off at the
bus terminal in Carmen town, during its foundation anniversary. (Ferdinandh Cabrera/MindaNews)