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6 injured in Cotabato IED blast

ALEOSAN, Cotabato – Six persons were injured when an improvised explosive device apparently intended for an electric post went off at 10 p.m. here Wednesday, authorities said.

Col. Edgar delos Reyes, commander of the Army 34th Infantry Battalion, said the bomb exploded beside the national highway in Barangay Pagangan just as a 10-wheel truck bound for Cotabato City passed, injuring six persons onboard the vehicle.

The explosion which damaged a post of the North Cotabato Electric Cooperative, happened about an hour after several persons were injured in an explosion in Hilongos, Leyte.

Jessie Enid of the North Cotabato provincial government health affairs office identified the victims as Amerol Musa Tantos, Hanep Alipa Ayon, Yahya Kasan, Pahmi Daya Diamla, Johary Amerol, and Salman Tahir.

Undersecretary Ricardo B. Jalad, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and concurrent administrator of the Office of Civil Defense, said the victims were taken to the Aleosan District Hospital by the the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team of Barangay Paganan.

The police and military are investigating the incident that happened four days after the Christmas Eve grenade explosion near a Catholic church in Midsayap, Cotabato that injured 20 persons, most them churchgoers.

Authorities said the grenade was intended to harm the police that a few days before the explosion arrested a barangay official in Midsayap believed to be involved in drug trafficking.

Supt. Bernard Tayong, chief of the Midsayap police, said now they have the cartographic sketches of the suspects in the incident. (PNA, Francis T. Wakefield, and Malu Cadelina Manar)