By MARK NAVALES
COTABATO CITY – A five-year old boy died, and six others were injured when an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded in a Mindanao Star passenger bus at around 8:10 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, along the national highway in Aleosan town of North Cotabato.
The bus with body number 1551 was heading from Davao City to Cotabato City and was driven by Michael Sochaysing Hubabib, a 36-year old resident Davao City.
Seven individuals were injured in an explosion inside a Mindanao Star Bus on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, at around 8:10 a.m. along the national highway in Aleosan town, North Cotabato. One of the injured died later while undergoing medication at the hospital.
Police identified the injured as Haron Solaiman Jr., 5 months old and a resident of Kidapawan City, Yushra Solaiman 3 years old and a resident of Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao, Benjamin Solaiman, 5 years old and a resident of Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao, Rodolfo R. Castillo, 67 years old and a resident of Toril Davao City, Lester Alkane Bautista, 17 years old and a resident of Poblacion, Pikit, Cotabato, Haron Solaiman Sr., 24 years old and a resident of Kidapawan City and Masid Benjamin, 25 years old and a resident of Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.
The wounded victims were immediately brought to Aleosan District Hospital and Cotabato Regional Medical Center for immediate medical intervention.
One of the 7 injured, however, Benjamin, a 5-year old boy, passed away later while undergoing medication at the hospital.
Basit Sulaiman, who suffered shrapnel wounds in his left foot, said his son, Benjamin, 5, died while undergoing medication at the hospital.
Police Region 12 Director P/BGen Alexander Tagum told Philippine Muslim Today that he immediately organized an SITG headed by PCol Michael Lebanan, CRS to supervise the investigation of said heinous terrorist attack to a civilian target.
“We strongly condemn the cowardly terrorist attack against the innocent commuters of Mindanao Star bus in Purok Narra, Barangay Upper San Mateo, Aleosan, Cotabato Province this morning, we hope for the fast recovery of the injured and be assured that those behind the bombing will face the full force of the law.” PBGen Tagum said.
Tagum said the regional police force has also directed CPPO-EOD and Cotabato Crime Laboratory are presently ongoing at the crime scene- while the area renders safe procedure for possible secondary IED and post blast investigation is being conducted in the area.
He also ordered of additional policemen in the area to thwart possible terror attacks amid the imposition of the election gun ban which began last Sunday.
602nd Brigade commander Col. Jovencio Gonzales said, “It’s under investigation. We are determining the kind of explosive used by the perpetrators, and also not discounting the involvement of the BIFF and Dawlah Islamiyah groups that are still active in the region that’s why we tighten the security in all checkpoints in my area of responsibility for the possible attack”.
In October 2010, ten people were killed when a bomb ripped through a passenger bus in nearby Matalam town, also in North Cotabato. Mark Navales