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IEDs explode in Tacurong City; 7 hurt

Two powerful explosions in close succession rocked Tacurong City in Sultan Kudarat between 6:45 p.m. and 7:10 p.m. on 17 April 2017, leaving at least seven people—mostly government security forces—hurt.

The first explosion reportedly originated from the restroom of Dragon Mart, located along the national highway in Brgy. New Isabela. The IED had been thrown on the roof of the building. As crime scene operatives were conducting an investigation, a second explosion occurred about one hundred meters away, near the gas station’s signage.

Those hurt in the second explosion were bomb disposal team members S/Sgt. Ipil Presaldo, S/Sgt. Menzo Salsalito Manoy, SPO2 Jasper Garcia, PO2 Martin San Pedro, PO1 Eleazar Sustiguer, and civilians identified only as Bobong Bamo and Michael Pon. The Dragon Mart building contained a gas station, convenience store, and restobar.

Earlier today, text messages were circulated warning about an alleged plot by outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) to set off bombs in Tacurong City; Koronadal City; Gen. Santos City; Cotabato City; Midsayap, North Cotabato; and Davao City to avenge the death of members of an Abu Sayyaf Group contingent in Bohol.

Two weeks earlier, about 800 meters away from Dragon Mart, an IED was lobbed by two men in front of the Sultan Kudarat Electric Cooperative Office, wounding eight persons.