KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato – A tricycle driver and his passenger were injured after an improvised explosive device planted in the rear portion of a bus exploded while traversing the highway in the downtown area, this city on Thursday.
The bomb went off simultaneously with another bomb in a terminal in Tacurong City.
Police authorities said the improvised explosive went off at the rear portion of the passenger bus owned by Yellow Bus Line while it was traversing the General Santos drive on its way to terminal from Tacurong City past 12 noon on Thursday.
PColonel Natahniel Villegas, South Cotabato police director, identified the injured victims as Wilfredo Peno, tricycle driver, and his passenger. Peno’s tricycle was near behind the bus when the explosion took place.
Police said all six people aboard the bus including the driver and conductor were unhurt.
Bernardo Bolanio, the bus company manager, said the passenger bus came from Kidapawan City in North Cotabato and passed by Tacurong City before heading to this city.
He said the bus management had not received threats prior to the attack.
He said when the bus made a stopover at a terminal in Tacurong City, the bus conductor noticed an abandoned baggage concealed in a shopping bag at the rear potion of the bus.
When nobody among the passengers owned up to the luggage, the bus conductor decided to take out the baggage from the bus and left it near the exit gate of the terminal.
Authorities said the baggage turned out to be an improvised explosive that went off simultaneously with the explosion in Koronadal City.
No one was reported injured during the explosion in Tacurong City.
BGen. Alexander Tagum, Police Regional Office-12 director, has condemned the attack and directed all police investigators to dig deeper into the incident to identify the perpetrators and file appropriate charges.
He also ordered a tight security measures around the region to thwart possible terror attacks.