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ZAMBOANGA CITY/MANILA, Philippines - At least six people, including a two-year-old child, were injured when an improvised bomb ripped through a passenger bus in Zamboanga City Thursday night, a police official said.
Chief Supt. Napoleon Estilles, regional police director of Zamboanga Peninsula, said the explosion occurred inside the Rural Transit Bus in Barangay Guiwan along the MCCL Highway at around 9:20 p.m. Thursday.
The explosion destroyed the rear portion of the bus owned by the Rural Transit Management Inc. (RTMI).
The bus, with body number 9224 and driven by Ramil Olivar, was reportedly headed towards Pagadian City with 24 passengers.
But local police said the bus had just arrived from Pagadian when the bomb exploded as it was approaching the bus terminal in Zamboanga City.
Estilles said the improvised explosive device (IED) consisted of a dry cell battery with a concrete nail.
Local police said Explosive Ordnance Demolition (EOD) personnel have recovered nails which were believed to have been used as the bomb’s shrapnel.
Police also said the blast injured seven passengers, who were brought to the nearest hospital for treatment. One of the victims was listed in critical condition.
The Rural Transit Bus has been the subject of attacks in previous months. Last April, an explosion hit a Cagayan de Oro-bound Rural Transit Bus in Carmen, North Cotabato killing two and injuring seven.
Another attack occurred last February.
Authorities said extortion was behind the previous attacks on the bus company.