ZAMBOANGA CITY: Separate explosions in Cotabato and Maguindanao left one person injured ahead of a possible visit by President Benigno Aquino 3rd in Cotabato City for Monday’s State of the Region Address.
Earlier on Saturday, an explosion occurred along a highway in Shariff Aguak town in nearby Maguindanao, one of five provinces under the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
No one was reported hurt or killed in the blast, which military authorities deemed as not strong enough. However, a grenade attack later in the day left one civilian wounded in Cotabato City.
Officials said soldiers and policemen were quickly deployed in Cotabato City proper where the explosion occurred, but the suspect behind the blast managed to escape.
The attack reportedly targeted a dump truck that passed along Sinsuat Avenue.
A civilian, Raisma Baraquir, was hit by shrapnel from the blast, according to Capt. Jo Ann Petinglay, a spokesperson for the 6th Infantry Division.
She said the 22-year Baraquir was rushed to the hospital. The truck driver, Daryl Llagono, meanwhile, was unhurt from the blast.
“Recovered at the blast site were safety lever and fragments of M61 hand grenade. The motive of the attack is still unknown, but authorities are already investigating the incident,” Petinglay told The Manila Times.
No individual claimed responsibility for the attacks. Aquino is reportedly expected to attend the state of the region address in Cotabato City, the seat of the regional government of the ARMM.