COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 10 July) – A police non-commissioned officer and a civilian were killed while four other policemen were wounded when an improvised explosive device went off in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao 8:30 p.m. on Thursday.
The fatalities were identified as MSgt Antonio Balasa and alias Bobby, the driver of the car hit by the explosive.
Wounded were Sgt Larry Amoran, SSgt Guerrero Domingo, Cpl Guai Mangrag and Cpl Clyde Peria.
Maguindanao provincial police director Col. Arnold Santiago said the explosion happened around 300 meters away from the provincial police headquarters, in a dark portion of the road leading to it.
Santiago believed the target was Maj Erwin Tabora, head of the Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit, but he was aboard another car in the convoy.
He blamed the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters for the attack, saying it happened after police killed a teenaged sniper and trained bomber who was a nephew of Commander Burgos of the said armed group.
He added the attack occurred in the same area where an explosive hit a police car in 2017 killing a number of policemen.
The wounded policemen were brought to the Integrated Provincial Health Office for treatment, but the attending physician recommended that Peria be transferred to the Cotabato Regional Medical Center due to continuous bleeding. (Ferdinandh Cabrera/MindaNews)