By Joseph Jubelag
KORONADAL CITY – At least three people were injured here Sunday following a blast near a Catholic church.
Supt. Marvin Duadua, spokesperson of the South Cotabato police office, said the detonation, which occurred high noon, was caused by an improvised explosive device (IED) planted right outside the St. Anthony parish church.
He identified the victims as Dindo Zamora, Generosa Sumargo, and Helen Payunan, vendors selling their wares outside the church.
Investigators are now gathering pieces of evidence and information on the identity of those responsible for the crime.
They are eyeing the possibility it was carried out by ISIS-inspired Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in retaliation to the arrest of suspected BIFF member Ebra Lucas last week.
Two hours after the explosion, security forces recovered another IED planted in front of a convenience store along General Santos Drive here.
Senior Supt. Nestor Salcedo, South Cotabato police director, has ordered the deployment of additional policemen in strategic places of the city to avert more of the same.