“No one was hurt, but the explosion caused panic among residents,” Superintendent Aldrin Gonzalez, Soccsksargen police spokesman, said.
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Cop chiefs sacked over General Santos, Midsayap bombings
Cecille Suerte Felipe, John Unson (The Philippine Star) - September 18, 2018 - 12:00am

NORTH COTABATO, Philippines — An explosion ripped through Barangay Poblacion 4 in Midsayap town in this province six hours after a bomb blast hit General Santos City on Sunday.

Philippine National Police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde ordered the relief of Chief Inspector Patrick Elma, General Santos Police Station 2 commander, and Superintendent Samuel Cadungog, Midsayap town police chief, to allow an impartial probe into the incidents.

Elma was replaced by Senior Inspector Davis Dulawan. Superintendent Joan Maganto replaced Cadungog.

Superintendent Aldrin Gonzalez, Soccsksargen police spokesman, said the improvised explosive device (IED) went off near a karaoke bar only a few meters away from the municipal police station.

“No one was hurt, but the explosion caused panic among residents,” Gonzalez said.

Bomb experts have yet to determine the type of IED used.

Probers said they have yet to establish if the bombing was linked to previous explosions, but Albayalde believes militant groups with ties to the Islamic State were behind the attacks.

Seven people, including a three-year-old girl, were wounded when a bomb exploded in Barangay Apopong in General Santos City.

Five persons were killed in bomb attacks in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat on Aug. 28 and Sept. 3.

On Saturday, an ordnance team deactivated a bomb found along the Cotabato-Isulan Highway in Barangay Matagabong in Ampatuan, Maguindanao. The IED was rigged with a blasting contraption attached to a mobile phone.

Military officials said members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters could have planted the bombs.

Albayalde said the police in entire Mindanao is on highest alert since the Sultan Kudarat bombing on Sept. 3.

“We reminded our regional directors in Mindanao to strengthen their target hardening measures.... Intelligence gathering is also very important,” he said.

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