PNP: Extortionists may be behind Cotabato blast
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday said it is verifying reports that the Al Khobar group caused the explosion at a waiting shed in Tulunan, Cotabato, which killed one person and wounded two others.
PNP chief General Debold Sinas said the Al Khobar Group was allegedly extorting money from the management of the bus terminal and set off an improvised explosive device at the waiting shed as the bus arrived.
“Investigators are validating intelligence reports that a caller, claiming to be the spokesperson of Al Khobar Group ‘is demanding an unspecified amount from the Yellow Bus Line (YBL) and threatened with an IED attack,’” said Sinas in a statement.
“However, Police Brigadier General Michael John Dubria said they are not discounting other possibilities and other threat groups in the area,” he added.
Initial reports stated that the blast occurred at a waiting shed on Wednesday afternoon.
Lawmen identified the fatality as Gina Paunon, a 53-year-old fruit vendor, while the two wounded victims were rushed to a nearby hospital.
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