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Sultan Kudarat blast hurts 3

Kidapawan City, Philippines – Three bystanders were wounded, one of them severely, when an improvised explosive device (IED) blasted on a national highway in Tacurong City in Sultan Kudarat province, around 10:30 p.m., Wednesday, police reports said.

Senior Supt. Rolen Balquin, provincial police director of Sultan Kudarat PNP, said the bomb was fashioned from a 60-mm mortar using a cellular phone as triggering device.

The bomb, he said, was placed near the ‘rotonda’ in Tacurong City, a few steps away from Tacurong Fitmart, one of the malls in the city.

Citing witnesses’ account, Balquin said minutes before the blast, a white van stopped near the site and later sped off towards the highway in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat.

Wounded were Jessa Dizon Marcelino, 23, of Purok-11, Abadilla Subdivision; Christian Jay Vino Gabaon, 26, of Block-3, Canos Subdivision , Purok-11; and James Biernes Salinda, 26, of EJC Montilla Street, all in Poblacion, Tacurong City.

Of the injured, Marcelino was seriously hit, initial reports said.

Marcelino and the other victims are treated at the Tamondong Hospital in Tacurong City.

Balquin said the Scene of the Crime Operatives, together with elements of the Explosives and Ordinance Disposal Team in Sultan Kudarat, continue to conduct post-blast investigations. (Malu Cadelina Manar)