Bomb blast hurts 5 hurt in Cotabato City

COTABATO CITY, (PNA) — Five persons, including an ×Army trooper, were hurt after a suspected homemade bomb placed in a parked open-type Wrangler jeep exploded near the city plaza along Makakua Street here around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Superintendent Rolen Balquin, city police director, identified those injured as Pvt. Dondon Asuncion Bambao, of the Army’s 5th Special Forces Battalion (SFB); Abdulrakman Utto, Mambai Datumanong, Baingan Ango and Lumbay Selbando, all vendors selling their respective wares at the plaza area.

He said the driver of the Wrangler jeep, whom he declined to identify, is currently undergoing tactical interrogation.

“The driver himself was stunned to learn later that his vehicle exploded after parking it in the area for an hour,” Balquin said.

He said that members of the military’s bomb disposal unit are still trying to determine the type of explosive used in the incident.

The blast occurred as the group of SFB soldiers where Bamban belong were patrolling the vicinity of the city plaza.

Security forces here were placed in red alert since last month following persistent threats of kidnapping and bombing from lawless groups.