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Nation

1 hurt in bus explosion in Maguindanao town

The Philippine Star

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines - Suspected extortionists preying on operators of passenger vehicles set off two roadside bombs at a secluded stretch of the Secretary Narciso Ramos Highway, wounding a commuter and sparking panic among villages along the thoroughfare.

Senior Inspector Danny Miro said the first improvised explosive device went off along a portion of the highway at Pinantao District in southeast of Parang town in the first district of Maguindanao, followed by another 30 minutes later, along a curve less than 50 meters away.

Miro, who is chief of the Parang municipal police, said a passenger of a vehicle passing by, 54-year-old Erlinda Bulangis, was wounded in the first explosion.

“She was  taken to a hospital in Cotabato City,” Miro said.

Miro said Army bomb experts are still trying to determine the type of IED used in the roadside bombings.

The mayor of Parang, Ibrahim Ibay, said the bombings were not related to Monday’s hostilities in North Cotabato’s Midsayap town between government forces and members of the brigand Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

Sources from the Army’s intelligence community said extortionists could be responsible for the bombings, an attempt to intimidate operators of passenger vehicles plying the Secretary Narciso Ramos Highway to shell out “protection money”.  - John Unson

BANGSAMORO ISLAMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS

COTABATO CITY

ERLINDA BULANGIS

IBRAHIM IBAY

JOHN UNSON

MAGUINDANAO

NORTH COTABATO

PINANTAO DISTRICT

SECRETARY NARCISO RAMOS HIGHWAY

SENIOR INSPECTOR DANNY MIRO

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