• Cotabato school blast injures 3 students

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    COTABATO CITY: Three students of Cotabato City State Polytechnic College (CCSPC) were wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off inside the school campus here on Monday night.

    The victims – Neil Barasbaras Borja, Dondon Jumalon Bangis, and Tyrone Sunico Jore – all residents of Notre Dame Avenue this city, were treated from shrapnel wounds in local hospital and later released.

    Initial investigation showed that the explosion occurred as the stage crew was packing up the sound system after a campus event at around 11:00 p.m.

    The IED was rigged with black powder, nails and triggering device and was planted beneath the grandstand, where a band competition was held.

    No individual or group claimed responsibility of the explosion that succeeded a shooting incident in the city six hours before the blast, which authorities believe had something to do with drug syndicates.

    Mayor Japal Guiani Jr. condemned the two separate attacks and directed the police to intensify police visibility in major city streets.

    Meanwhile, the CCSPC management on Tuesday asked the Philippine National Police (PNP) to conduct a thorough investigation on the explosion and find out how the suspects managed to get inside the school premises.

    In an exclusive interview with The Manila Times, Dr. Dammang Bantala, CCSPC president, said that Senior Supt. Raul Supiter, Cotabato City police director, assured him that the PNP will strengthen police visibility outside the school campus especially along the busy Sinsuat Avenue where the CCSPC is located.

    Supiter said police probers found out that the IED was meant merely to create a commotion inside the school campus.Witnesses told police they saw some men roaming near the grandstand before the blast.

    Police are seeking the CCTV footage of CCSPC as part of the investigation.

     JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL AND MOH SAADUDDIN

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