KIDAPAWAN CITY – At least 6 people were reported wounded, others claimed 2 kids had died, in a bomb attack on Wednesday outside a restaurant in Sultan Kudarat’s town of Isulan in southern Philippines.
Town Mayor Marites Pallasigue said the blast occurred outside the Carlito’s Chicken along the highway. “As of this moment meron tayong 6 na wounded at dinala sa iba’t ibang ospital dito sa probinsya ng Sultan Kudarat,” she said without elaborating further.
Pallasigue said they had no intelligence report of an imminent attack or terror threats in Isulan. “Wala kahit ano, walang threat, wala lahat, walang intell report kahit na ano sa amin,” she said, adding, her town is generally peaceful, although an ISIS bombing in August 28 last year killed two people and left at least three dozen others wounded.
“Generally, our place is peaceful. I don’t know what happened or why this is happening to our place now,” she said.
Former presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza, in his Facebook account, said 2 children were killed in the powerful explosion. “Two kids already confirmed dead! Gov. Pax Mangudadatu just informed me. He is now rushing from GenSan to the site,” he wrote.
A video posted on Facebook showed civilians running and screaming as black smoke billowed in front of the restaurant. The clip, recorded from a cell phone by another civilian, can be viewed here: https://www.facebook.com/jomayma.santiago.1/videos/340377610166510/?t=99.
No individual or group claimed responsibility for the attack, but the previous motorcycle bombing was claimed by ISIS, according to SITE Intelligence.
The blast coincided with the town’s 61st founding anniversary and occurred while the whole region is under martial rule. The motorcycle was parked along the highway near several shops in Kalawag village when it exploded around 8.30 p.m. and two other improvised explosives were recovered not far from the area.
At least 35 people wounded in the blast were rushed to hospitals. And an adult and child died from the bombing.
The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters or BIFF whose leaders have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, also claimed responsibility for last year’s attack in the town. The BIFF, whose members were mostly former Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters, is one of several pro-ISIS militant groups fighting for the establishment of a caliphate on Mindanao.
Security forces have been fighting militant groups in the southern region the past years. The blast occurred following President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to the armed forces to crush terrorism. (Mindanao Examiner)