Engineer killed in bomb blast; 3 others hurt

A PROJECT engineer was killed while three others, including two militiamen, were wounded in an improvised bomb explosion perpetrated by New People's Army (NPA) rebels in South Cotabato.

Lieutenant Colonel Jess Alcudia, Army's 27th Infantry Battalion commander, identified the fatality as Junesis Miro, engineer of a private construction firm undertaking a farm-to-market road project linking Surallah and Lake Sebu towns in South Cotabato.

Wounded were Renato Catanos and Joepermar Catapang, both militiamen, and Tirso Cordero, a village watchman who is in critical condition.

Alcudia said the incident took place around 7:30 a.m. Thursday at Sitio Lamsuguing in the village of Upper Sepaka, Surallah, South Cotabato.

He added that Miro was supervising the implementation of a farm-to-market road project when an improvised explosive device fashioned out as a landmine exploded, instantly killing him.

The two militiamen and village watchmen were injured after they were hit by shrapnel during the blast. They were providing security to a heavy equipment of the Gemma construction company undertaking the road project.

Alcudia said the explosion was followed by heavy volume of gunfire.

He said the motive of the incident is extortion, since the NPA rebels earlier demanded the construction firm to pay them three percent of the total project's worth as protection money.

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