COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/13 Sept) – Two improvised explosive devices planted along the roadside of the national highway exploded here noon today. Nobody was reported injured in the blast near the Notre Dame Hospital and the Cotabato Regional Medical Center.
The explosion happened just as the convoy of Interior and Local Governments Secretary Jessie Robredo passed by and just after the Moro rally calling for a Mindanao sub-state. Robredo was in town to attend the public screening for those who applied to become officer in charge of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
The IEDs were apparently fashioned after 81mm mortar rounds as the fragments in the street indicate.
Police Director Felicisimo Khu, chief of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations-Western Mindanao and Task Force Kutawato head, said he earlier received information that a group intends to plant a bomb during Robredo’s visit.
Lt. Col. Dorotheo Jalandoni, commander of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-7 (MBLT-7), said the blast could be tied to today’s three events – Robredo’s visit, the public screening for the ARMM OIC applicants, and the Moro rally.
Robredo visit the blast site after his meeting with Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo. (Ferdinandh Cabrera / MindaNews)