Bus torched by armed men in South Cotabato; no one hurt
KORONADAL CITY — Unidentified gunmen set on fire a bus plying South Cotabato and this city at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, the fourth bus torched by armed men in the province and the sixth attack against bus companies since Nov. 13, police said.
Supt. Franklin Alvero, South Cotabato police provincial director, said the Husky Bus was heading for General Santos City from Cotabato City via Isulan town in Sultan Kudarat and Tacurong City.
Quoting witnesses, police said a man boarded the passenger bus in Tacurong City. Upon reaching Barangay Morales here, he asked the driver to stop so he could get out of the bus. The driver then pulled over.
As the passenger was leaving the bus, about six or eight men armed with hand guns quickly hopped in and, at gun point, told the driver to leave.
A commuter told police that the man from Tacurong who wanted to disembark in front of a hotel told other passengers to get out of the bus with him because it would be set on fire. He was saying it as soon as the gunmen boarded the bus.
The armed men then doused the bus with gasoline and set the vehicle on fire.
Police said the upper portion of the bus (body number 6833 with temporary licensed plate 1301-658771) was burning when responding fire officers arrived.
Koronadal City Mayor Peter Miguel believed the attackers were from outside the city.
Unlike in previous attacks against bus units, Miguel said the arsonists did not identify themselves or the organization they belonged to. They simply asked everyone to leave the bus, doused the bus with gasoline, set it on fire and rushed away.
It was the second attack against the Husky Bus line since Nov. 27 when gunmen set on fire another Husky bus in Tantangan, South Cotabato.
Two other buses owned by the Yellow Bus Lines (YBL) were torched by men who claimed they were communist guerillas in Tupi and Sto Niño towns since Nov. 13.
The YBL had lost four buses in the hands of gunmen since Nov. 13, to include the one torched in Kiamba, Sarangani province and in Magsaysay, Davao del Sur. SFM
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