3 hurt in Cotabato City explosion

Blast occurs blocks from ARMM regional office

COTABATO BLAST. Explosive experts gather evidence at the site of an explosion in Cotabato City on Thursday (March 1) evening. (Photo by Ferdinandh Cabrera)

MANILA, Philippines – Three people were hurt in an explosion just a few blocks from the regional headquarters of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanano (ARMM) in Cotabato City on Thursday (March 1) evening.

A still undetermined type of explosive went off at the front gate of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) regional office in Governor Gutierrez Avenue around 7.20 pm Thursday, initial reports said.

The victims were rushed to the Cotabato Regional Medical Center. They were identified as Pendewata Sandigan, 38, and his 15-year old nephew, Pansadalan. The 3rd victim has yet to be identified.

Eyewitness accounts said that the bomb, which the local police described as an improvised explosive device (IED), was placed in an electric post outside the GSIS office. There were no immediate reports on damage to structures as a result of the explosion.

The blast site was around 10 meters from a row of street vendors, causing several people to panic, and around 300 meters from the ARMM regional compound where the office of OIC governor Mujiv Hataman is located.

Local authorities have yet to identify possible suspects and their motives, pending investigation of the blast. According to the Cotabato City PNP, scene of the crime operatives have collected sharpnels and other pieces of evidences from site of the explosion. – Rappler.com

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