COTABATO CITY, Philippines — At least 15 persons, including police and military personnel, were wounded when two improvised explosive devices were detonated one after the other at a gasoline station in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat Monday evening.
No one was hurt when the first bomb exploded inside the restroom of the Dragon Gasoline Station along the national highway, beside which are a convenience store and a bar that are popular hangouts.
The second IED was detonated as police, including bomb experts, responded to the first blast, wounding 11 civilians — including a member of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and two village watchmen — three law enforcers, two soldiers and two village watchmen. None of the injuries was life-threatening.
Senior Superintendent Raul Supiter, Sultan Kudarat police director, said two brothers suspected of planting the bombs, both of them alleged members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s 106th Base Command, were arrested soon after in the vicinity of the incident.
Supiter said guns and grenades were seized from Warren and Johari Gani, residents of General Salipada K. Pendatun in Maguindanao province. The two remain in police custody and are being questioned.
Von Alhaq, spokesman of the MILF’s Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces, said they would verify whether the brothers were indeed members of their organization.
Authorities identified the casualties as:
- Logen Presaldo, 42, AFP, of Barangay New Isabela, Tacurong
- Ramil Garde, AFP
- Alvin Jimenez, 44
- A 14-year old female student of Barangay San Pablo, Tacurong
- Reymart del Rosario, 21
- Saulsauto Manoy, 47, CDRRMC
- Joseph Liba, 33, Barangay San Pablo
- Leo Cueva, 34, teacher, of Tantangan, South Cotabato
- Roger Bamo, 47, ambulance driver, Barangay New Isabela
- P02 Gerard Martin San Pedro
- SPO2 Jasper Garcia
- Micheal Pun
- P01 Eleazar Sustiguer
- Ryan Omar Ali, 27, Barangay Poblacion, Tacurong
- Richard Piñeda, 36, Barangay New Isabela