MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – At least 7 people were hurt following an explosion in front of a public market in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat, on Saturday morning, September 7.
The Sultan Kudarat Provincial Police Office said the incident happened in front of Manolette Bakeshop fronting the public market in Barangay Kalawag 3 in Isulan past 7 am on Saturday.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) Spokesperson Major Arvin Encinas said an improvised explosive device (IED) was placed beside a parked motorcycle in the vicinity of the public market.
After the blast, military troops immediately arrived and cordoned off the area.
The victims were brought to the Sultan Kudarat Provincial Hospital and the Holy Nazarene Hospital.
Westmincom identified the victims as the following:
Encinas said it was “still to be determined” who was behind the blast. When asked whether the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) were a suspect, the Westmincom spokesman said it was included in their investigation.
The AFP has condemned the attack as it jointly probes the incident with the police.
“I enjoin everyone to offer their prayers for the speedy recovery of the victims and for the enlightenment of the perpetrators who aim to undermine the stability of Sultan Kudarat," Westmincom chief Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana said in a statement.
"Let us be more vigilant and immediately report any suspicious person or things in your vicinity to avoid such occurrence," he added.
This is the latest blast in the Sultan Kudarat capital. In April, an explosion – also in front of a business establishment – rocked Isulan, hurting at least 18 people.
In August 2018, 3 people were killed and over 30 people injured in a blast in the same village where the latest incident happened. – Rappler.com
JC Gotinga often reports about the West Philippine Sea, the communist insurgency, and terrorism as he covers national defense and security for Rappler. He enjoys telling stories about his hometown, Pasig City. JC has worked with Al Jazeera, CNN Philippines, News5, and CBN Asia.