Gunmen torch bus in South Cotabato
KORONADAL CITY, Philippines – Armed men claiming to be communist rebels torched a passenger bus in Tupi, South Cotabato, before dawn Sunday, police said.
Senior Superintendent Franklin Alvero, South Cotabato police director, said five armed men hailed and boarded the Yellow Bus Line unit along the national highway in Barangay Polonuling at about 4 a.m.
After announcing they were members of the New People’s Army (NPA), the gunmen ordered the driver to take the bus to a secluded area, about 100 meters from the highway, where more armed men were waiting.
They told the crew and passengers to alight before dousing the vehicle with gasoline and torching it, he said.
“No one was hurt and the perpetrators immediately left after setting the bus on fire,” Alvero said.
Supt. Romeo Galgo, spokesperson of the Central Mindanao Police Office, said the bus, with body no. 77, was on its way to General Santos City when intercepted by the armed men.
Police and soldiers of the Army’s 27th Infantry Battalion were pursuing the suspects, who fled toward Mt. Matutum, Galgo said. CBB/rga
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