One injured in Koronadal bus bombing; another blast reported in Tacurong City

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Courtesy: 6th Infantry Division

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 26) — Local authorities confirmed two bombing incidents that occurred Thursday afternoon.

In a statement, the Joint Task Force Central (JTFC) and 6th Infantry (Kampilan) Division stated that an improvised explosive device (IED) went off inside a public utility bus moving along Gensan Drive in front of East West Bank, in Barangay Zone 3, Koronadal City, South Cotabato around 12:30 p.m.

The bus is owned by Yellow Bus Lines Incorporated.

The blast left a male tricycle driver injured. He was immediately brought to a hospital for medication.

The area was immediately secured, while the South Cotabato Explosives and Ordnance Disposal and K9 Team were dispatched to conduct a clearing operation.

Around the same time, another explosion involving another IED occurred at a vacant lot in Barangay New Carmen, Tacurong City, in Sultan Kudarat. It recorded no casualty.

Authorities said JTFC troops cordoned the area while the bomb disposal team conducted safety procedures.

The military assured investigation is ongoing to identify the terrorist group behind the bombing incidents, noting it "strongly condemns the cowardly act of the terrorist group and peace spoilers that put the lives of innocent civilians in danger, who left an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), which is a violation of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights."

BGen. Pedro Balisi, brigade commander of 1st Mechanized Brigade, also assured that police and military forces, along with the local government, "are working hand in hand to manage the situation."

Meanwhile, BGen. Eduardo Gubat, acting division commander of 6ID and JTFC, directed all units under the Joint Area of Operation to intensify checkpoint operations and intelligence monitoring in coordination with their police counterparts.

"We will exert efforts so that we can identify who are the perpetrators of these incidents and pursue proper actions according to law," he added.