Army, PNP on alert after blast rocks NorCot town

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PIKIT, North Cotabato: Police and soldiers here have been placed on heightened alert following an explosion of an improvised explosive device Monday morning, police and military authorities said.

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Colonel Dickson Hermoso, 6th Infantry Division spokesperson, said the blast occurred at 6:10 a.m. along a roadside in Barangay Batulawan, Pikit, North Cotabato.

No one was injured and nobody claimed responsibility for the bomb attack.

Senior Inspector Jojie Nicolas, provincial police spokesperson, said the explosion occurred some five meters away from the busy highway linking Barangay Batulawan and Poblacion Pikit.

He said the highway was temporarily shut down between Barangay Batulawan and Poblacion Pikit while Army and police bomb experts were conducting post blast investigation.

Nicolas theorized the suspects may have planned to set off the IED somewhere else but due to the presence of policemen they changed plan and left the explosive at a roadside.

Hermoso said the bombing attempt could be the handiwork of extortion gangs operating in North Cotabato.

Following the incident, soldiers and policemen were deployed to provide road security and safety of commuters plying portions of the Cotabato-Davao highway. PNA

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