Police foil bombing try at bus terminal in Cotabato City
COTABATO CITY—Police foiled attempt to bomb the terminal of Husky Bus here that investigators believed be part of an extortion attempt.
Authorities on Thursday discovered and defused two improvised bombs planted near the gate and beside the concrete fence of the terminal.
Prior to the discovery of the explosives, the management of Husky Bus Tours received a phone call warning the bus firm of an impending attack.
“We have a gift for you, just wait for it,” the caller said, as relayed by an official of Biocrest Multipurpose Cooperative, the owner of Husky Bus Tours that ply the General Santos City-Cotabato City route.
“This is extortion. The firm received a call from an unknown person telling the bus firm to wait for something,” Col. Querubin Manalang, Cotabato City police director, said of the discovery of two bombs at the Husky Bus terminal.
Porters and security guards first discovered the suspicious plastic bag and another plastic container at about 3:40 a.m. on Thursday and immediately alerted the police.
Manalang said the suspects undoubtedly intended to kill since they left powerful bombs. It would have been a huge disaster had the suspects managed to detonate the improvised bombs, he added.
Citing the report of bomb experts, Manalang said one bomb was made of flash powder and cut concrete nails as shrapnel with mobile phone as blasting mechanism while another was fashioned from rocket-propelled grenade, also with a mobile phone as triggering device.
Police investigators were also reviewing close circuit television footage which showed two men on motorcycle dropping off the bombs before they hurriedly left.
The bombing attempt here comes more than a month after a powerful bomb ripped through a parked Husky bus in Isulan town, Sultan Kudarat, on April 17, injuring seven persons.
“We are determining if the bomb components are similar to the ones that were used during the Husky bus bombing in Isulan and who are the perpetrators,” Manalang said.
Police have filed charges against a dozen members of the terror group Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in the Isulan bombing.
Manalang said that the planting of bombs here on Thursday could be part of the terrorist group’s extortion activities against Husky Bus.
The bombing attempt came while Cotabato City is hosting the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Athletic Association Meet 2023, or the Palarong Pampook 2023.
“It was not intended for the Palaro, it was extortion,” Manalang said.
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