CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - Three explosions rocked Cotabato City Sunday and its neighboring town Libungan in Cotabato Province wounding 21 persons, nine of them members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
The blasts occurred when people in Cotabato City and Libungan town were busy participating in "Simbang Gabi," carollings and other merry makings of the approaching Christmas.
In an interview with reporters, Major Arvin Encinas confirmed the first blast happened at around 6:00pm Sunday, along Sinsuat Avenue in Cotabato City, The blast has injured 17 people, report said.
Major Encinas said three unidentified suspects on board a motorcycle reportedly throw a grenade to the soldiers on board an army truck and passing on said road along Sinsuat Avenue.
The military suspected islamic militant groups to have a hand in the incident. In fact, Maj Encinas pointed to Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) as behind the attack on a military convoy.
Meanwhile, minutes after the explosion in Cotabato City, another explosions also rocked the town of Libungan in Cotabato Province. Based on reports received by MDN, the explosion happened at around 6:12pm at the poblacion wounding five persons.
In a Facebook page posted by Shirlyn Villanueva, it was reported that the bomb exploded in front of Remerata Store in Poblacion, Libungan.
Five persons were reported wounded namely: Rolando Amistoso, Ma. Vivian Bulahan, Ronald Eslit, Reynante Barbon and Angelica Cabatingan. Of the five victims, Amistoso was seriously wounded but he was immediately rushed at the CRMC hospital in Cotabato City. The other four victims, report said, were only slightly wounded. They were also brought to Pesante Hospital and Mount of Blessings for immediate treatment.
At around 6:17pm - five minutes after the explosion in the poblacion in Libungan, another explosion was also reported fifteen meters away from Remerata Store but no casualties were reported as the the military has already condoned the area.
The police in both Cotabato City and Libungan town "are still facing a blank wall" in as far as who perpetrated the attack on both civilians and the military.###
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