7 dead, 20 others in bus explosion PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 22 October 2010 11:13

A powerful explosion ripped through a bus full of passengers in Matalam, North Cotabato, killing seven and causing injuries to 20 others.

Sr. Insp. Joyce Birrey, spokesman of the North Cotabato Provincial Police, the seven fatalities were seated near the spot where two men left the IED.

“It was neatly placed underneath one of the seats at the right side of the bus,” Birrey said.

The Rural Transit Bus, bearing body number 2289, was from Bukidnon and bound for Tacurong City, some 50 kilometers southeast of Matalam.

Seven of the 20 injured passengers were rushed to the North Cotabato Provincial Hospital in Barangay Amas here.

Three of the victims have been identified initially as Guinaid Izadam, of President Quirino town in Sultan Kudarat, Noraida Daud and Abson Camino, both residents of Pikit, North Cotabato.

Inspector Antonio Cabicas, chief of the Matalam municipal police, said some of the injured passengers were evacuated by responding rescue groups to hospitals in nearby towns.

Cabicas said the bus was exactly at the center of Barangay Dalapitan in Matalam when the IED went off.

The IED was fashioned from live mortar projectiles, packed with shredded cast iron and jagged metal fragments, and attached to a blasting mechanism that can be detonated by a cellular phone.

“The bombers that brought the IED inside the bus must have disembarked at the Kabacan municipal station, where it last stopped to drop some passengers there,” he said.

Among the seven fatalities was the bus conductor, who was collecting fare from one of the passengers that also died on the spot.

The Rural Transit is one of several bus companies that recently received extortion letter from the notorious Al-Khobar syndicate, which threatened to bomb one of its units if its management refuses to shell out monthly “protection” money.

By Felix Ostrea