(philstar.com) | Updated August 20, 2014 - 11:10am
COTABATO CITY, Philippines --- A bomb exploded at the intersection at the city plaza Tuesday night, leaving two wounded and causing panic among people near the blast scene.
Senior Supt. Rolen Balquin, director of the Cotabato City police, said only two, not five as reported by local radio stations, were wounded in the bombing.
He said an injured civilian passerby and a soldier, initially identified only as Pvt. Bambao, have been treated at a hospital. They were both declared out of danger by attending physicians, he added.
Bambao, who is from the Army's 5th Special Forces Battalion, and his companions were patrolling near the city plaza when the IED went off.
Radio reports said five people sustained superficial wounds in the blast.
A bystander, who fainted after the explosion, went home immediately after receiving first aid from doctors, the reports said.
Three of the five victims were identified in the reports as Baingan Aliuden Ango, Mambai Ulandigan Datumanong, and Abdulrakman Utto.
Utto, who was wounded in the chest, is still confined at the Cotabato Regional Medical Center here, according to reports.
“Everything is under control now,” Balquin told reporters Wednesday morning.
Balquin said an improvised explosive device made up of a live 60 millimeter mortar projectile rigged with time-delayed blasting mechanism was used in the attack.
The explosive was placed under a jeep parked along Makakua Street, meters away from the plaza's stage.
The plaza is two blocks away from the Cotabato City police precinct 1.
Balquin said the IED went off after the owner of the vehicle, bearing license plates MCF 443, had alighted to buy medicines in a nearby drug store.
Balquin said investigators are still trying to determine if owner of the vehicle was the target of the bombing.
He said probers are still gathering information about the incident.
“The owner of the vehicle is now undergoing procedural questioning,” Balquin said.