8 injured in Cotabato City and Kabacan blasts

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 15 Nov) – Eight persons were wounded in three explosions in Cotabato City and Kabacan, North Cotabato Saturday night.

At 6:14 p.m. the city was plunged into darkness when an explosion rocked the compound of the Cotabato Light and Power Company (Colight) here.

Colight personnel initially thought there was a technical malfunction but upon reviewing the CCTV, motorcycle-riding men were seen hurling an explosive at the radiator fence area.

At around 6:25 p.m. a grenade was lobbed in front of a refilling station of LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) storage tanks at the intersection of Malvar and Rizal Avenue in Kabacan, North Cotabato, injuring five persons, among them 12-year old John Clark Opiña, 36-year old Rosalie Pareñas and a still unidentified person who happened to pass by.

At around 7:30 p.m., while the city was still suffering from a brownout, troops from the 5th Special Forces Battalion on board a truck were patrolling Sinsuat Avenue when something exploded in front of the vehicle, the shrapnels injuring Cpl. Noel Ganab and Pfc. Romer Agustin and one Mohaimen Biron who happened to pass by.

The blast also damaged the truck’s windshield and the windshield of another truck parked beside a lumberyard.

Lt. Col. Rannie Sevilla, commanding officer of the 5th Special Forces battalion based here, said they were the intended target of the motorcycle-riding men who fired a 40 mm grenade launcher and immediately sped off.

He said the modus was similar to the attack on their headquarters in August where one soldier was killed.

The city police are investigating if the explosions were the handiwork of one group and if the explosion at the Colight that triggered a brownout was done to make it easier to launch the next attack.

Police Director Raul Supiter, said despite the tight security last night, the perpetrators still managed to mount their attacks.

Supiter said they will investigate further to identify the group behind Saturday nights’ attacks. (Ferdinand B. Cabrera / MindaNews)