TACURONG CITY (Updated) -- Police in Tacurong City have arrested two men with hand grenades and handguns minutes after two blasts rocked this city, Monday, April 17.
At least 14 persons were hurt, not eight, police said Tuesday.
Last night, police initially reported that eight persons, including five soldiers and police officers, were wounded in the bomb attack.
The two suspects, Waren Gani and Johari Gani, were on board a motorbike and were from General SK Pendatun, Maguindanao. Two mobile phones were also taken from them, which contain their photographs in fatigue uniform carrying firearms.
Senior Superintendent Raul Supiter, Sultan Kudarat police provincial director, said the two claimed they were members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
Supiter said prior to the twin blasts at the Dragon Mart and Gasoline Station, a bomb scare was reported near St. John Learning Center along Ilang-Ilang Street, Barangay New Isabela at around 5:50 p.m.
"No bomb was found near the school," he said.
But at around 6:45 p.m., an explosion ripped the roof of the gas station's comfort room.
As police and Army bomb experts were conducting a post blast investigation, another improvised bomb exploded at around 7:10 p.m. in front of the gas station that damaged parked motorbikes and a vehicle.
"It was a well-planned bomb attack," Supiter said, adding that the bombs used were similar to previous bombings in the region.
Supiter identified the injured as bomb disposal team members Staff Sergeant (S/Sgt) Ipil Presaldo, S/Sgt. Menzo Salsalito Manoy, Senior Police Officer 2 Jasper Garcia, Police Officer 1 (PO1) Martin San Pedro and PO1 Eleazar Sustiguer, all from Tacurong City police station.
Also hurt were nine civilians who were customers of the resto bar.
Only few remained in the hospital while others only sustained superficial wounds from cut nails used as shrapnel of the improvised explosive device.
Text messages have been circulating in Central Mindanao about an alleged bomb plot by the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in the cities of Tacurong, Koronadal, Kidapawan, Davao and Cotabato to avenge the death of Abu Sayyaf members who clashed with government troops in Bohol last week. (PNA)