MARANTAO, Lanao del Sur – The military here said an attempt to throw an improvised explosive device near soldiers guarding polling precincts in an elementary school here failed when the bomber hit the windshield instead, the IED
The explosion took place around 5 p.m..
He said they found “two or three” more IEDs inside the van, which a police explosive ordnance division detonated by 6:15 p.m., causing panic among the hundreds of curious onlookers awaiting for more details of the incident.
“Our initial investigation shows that they intended to conduct intimidation or bombing here in the area,” Jumawan said.
The military arrested three suspects – the driver of the white Toyota van, the injured bomber, and yet another suspect that residents said just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
A fourth suspect ran away, Jumawan said.
He said the suspects’ van was right behind 14 soldiers when the explosion happened. The soldiers then approached the van and found the injured bomber and more IEDs.
When MindaNews arrived at the scene by 5:45 p.m., a police K-9 unit was bringing in dogs towards the white Toyota van (plate number A3 L057) while two handcuffed suspects were instructed to lie down on the paved highway. The dogs likewise sniffed vehicles parked nearby.
Incumbent Vice Mayor Alahudin Maruhom told MindaNews he was monitoring the balloting in the precincts when he heard the commotion, “but I heard no explosion.”
One of the suspects arrested was his cousin Al-Musab Abanto, whom the vice mayor said was only taking video of the van when soldiers accosted him.