Blast rocks Cotabato City, mortar found in NorCot

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COTABATO CITY: Unidentified men fired rifle grenade in a residential area here Sunday night, sending residents into panic, police said Monday.

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Police said nobody was hurt and no one has claimed responsibility in the 9:30 p.m. blast.

Quoting witnesses, police said two men riding tandem on a motorbike passed by followed by a loud explosion.

Bomb experts recovered components of an M-203 rifle grenade.

In Midsayap, North Cotabato police recovered Sunday an 81 mm mortar and other bomb components abandoned in a hut.

Supt. Reynante delos Santos, Midsayap police chief, said his office has received a report about bombing attempt in town as it prepares for the January 17-18 patronal fiesta celebration.

“We recovered the mortar round, yet to be composed into an IED in a vacant lot, the suspects fled as the police arrived at about 18 p.m.,” delos Santos said in Filipino.

The IED was found in a hut, known among villagers as “purok” near a road leading to the residential home of Mayor Romeo Arania.

Police are still investigating the incident.

Capt. Joanne Petinglay, speaking for the 6th Infantry Division, said the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) has plotted to set off in various communities to get back after its major camp fell into government hands. PNA

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