1 of 18 Isulan blast victims dies
ISULAN, Sultan Kudarat — One of the 18 victims of last week’s bomb attack at a restaurant in this town died on Tuesday while undergoing treatment, police said.
Major Ronnie Dardo, speaking for the Sultan Kudarat Police Provincial Office, today said that Nasser Masundig, 40, succumbed to blast injuries at past 2 p.m. on April 9.
He was confined at the Holy Nazarene Clinic and Hospital in Barangay Kalawag 2 of Isulan.
Masundig, a resident of Purok 6, Barangay Datuma, Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat, sustained shrapnel injuries in his stomach and was listed as the most serious victim of the explosion that occurred in front of Carlito’s Chicken House in Barangay Kalawag 2 on April 3.
Dardo said the other victims of the blast have been discharged from hospitals in this town and in neighboring areas, except for four who are still undergoing treatment.
Brigadier General Eliseo Tam Rasco, police director for Soccsksargen (Region 12), blamed the Islamic State-linked Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) for the bomb attack.
He said the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG-Carlito) reported that extortion was the primary motive in the attack carried out by suspected members of BIFF.
Through text messages, the group had allegedly demanded from the restaurant owner P50,000 a month in protection money, with the threat of bombing if it were ignored.
Isulan Mayor Maritess Pallasigue said the bomber posed as a customer and went inside the chicken house and left a plastic bag under the table. One of the waiters, who saw the bag, picked it up then handed it to the suspect who left in haste.
The bomber accepted the plastic bag as he went out of the restaurant but left it outside, beside the chicken grill area. He then boarded a motorcycle driven by an accomplice and fled as the explosive went off.
Police and military authorities also blamed the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters for last year’s twin bombings along the same stretch of the highway in Barangay Kalawag, on August 28 and September 2, that left five persons dead and 45 others injured. /lzb
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