5 injured in Sultan Kudarat bus bombing

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/ 29 December)–Five persons were wounded when an explosion hit a Husky Bus near the round ball (welcome rotunda) of Isulan, Sultan Kudarat at around 5:45 p.m. Friday, officials said.

Col. Edmundo Pangilinan, commander of the 601st Army Infantry Brigade, said the improvised explosive device went off at the rear portion of the bus loaded with passengers.

The Husky bus, bound for General Santos City from Cotabato City, caught fire after the loud explosion, an initial military report sent by text said.

Firefighters from the Isulan fire station responded to the incident, it added.

Pangilinan said that three passengers seated at back of the bus were injured by the explosion.

The Biocrest Multi-Purpose Cooperative and Transport Services operates the Husky Bus fleet.

Another bus operated by the Yellow Bus Lines, Inc., which was trailing the Husky Bus, was hit in the front portion by the explosion, injuring two passengers, Pangilinan said.

The Yellow Bus unit was bound for Koronadal City.

Senior Supt. Rolen Balquin, Sultan Kudarat police director, said that no group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, and that authorities were conducting a deeper investigation to determine the perpetrators.

In the past few years, both bus companies have suffered deadly bomb attacks allegedly from extortionists. (Ferdinandh Cabrera with a report from Bong S. Sarmiento/MindaNews)