7 hurt as pow­er­ful blast rocks Gen­san

The Freeman - - NATION - — Philstar.com

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.

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