7 hurt as powerful blast rocks Gensan
Seven people, including a three-year-old child, were hurt in a powerful explosion in Barangay Apopong, General Santos City yesterday morning.
The victims were identified as Marlon Orabia, 30; Jerry Guyos, 19; Felipa Regidor, 64; Lally Jean Alipio, 34; John Calang, 22; Claire Uozolam, 24; and the three-year-old Joana Alipio.
Superintendent Aldrin Gonzalez, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office-12 in General Santos City, said they sustained shrapnel wounds in different parts of their bodies.
Responding investigators from the General Santos City police office told reporters that two men were behind the bombing. They approached a roadside barbecue vending stall at one corner of the Makar-Apopong intersection, asked if there was “pork barbecue” for sale and turned around when told there was none.
A witness has confirmed seeing one of them leave a bag containing the improvised explosive device that went off after they disappeared. The IED was packed with nails and metal fragments with jagged edges.
Gonzalez said there are indications that the IED was rigged with a blasting contraption that could be detonated from a distance.
“But we have to wait still for a final report from the police and military bomb experts helping investigate on the explosion” Gonzalez said Sunday.
The bombing in General Santos City was preceded by the August 28 and September 2 deadly IED attacks in Isulan, capital town of Sultan Kudarat.
Five were killed while more than 40 others were hurt in the two bombings in Isulan, which were blamed on the outlaw Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.
The BIFF operates in the fashion of the Islamic State and has been trying to sabotage the peace process between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
The most notorious of the three factions in the BIFF, the group led by radical cleric Abu Toraife, reportedly has more than 20 newly trained bombers in its ranks now.