5 injured in Cotabato City blasts

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/10 July) –  Five persons were hurt in two explosions Tuesday night on the eve of Ramadhan, the second happening nearby half an hour later while bomb disposal personnel were investigating the first.

Senior Superintendent Rolen Balquin,city police director said the first explosion took place at around 8:40 p.m. along Manara St. in front of the residence of the Chin family followed by another blast at 9:10 p.m. in a  popular KTV bar, Cafe Florencio,along Sinsuat Avenue, Rosary Heights 7.

Five persons were seen being rushed out of the blood-splattered front gate of the KTV bar to the nearby Cotabato Regional and Medical Center in a police car.

Police said a grenade launcher was fired at the rooftop of the building.

The wounded victims were identified as  Aileen Coquia, Lolong Delos Reyes, Winnete Guerra, waiter James Bryan Fernando and bar manager Reynaldo Pascua.

Experts from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team (EODT) found fragments from an M-79 grenade launcher in the twin blasts.

Muslims condemned the series of attacks on the eve of Ramadhan, the Islamic month of fasting that began Wednesday. The city is predominantly Muslim.

Appeals for a quiet observance of Ramadhan were aired over Facebook.

Monday night at around 11 p.m .residents reported to the police in Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao a suspicious-looking package near a gasoline station in Barangay Tamontaka, according to Maguindanao Police director Senior Superintendent Rodelio Jocson.

EODT personnel rushed to the area but the package contained no explosive.

The area where the package was left is located a few meters from the bridge that separates the city from Maguindanao. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera/MindaNews)