KIDAPAWAN CITY -- Two bombers were killed when a bomb went off in front of the provincial office of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) along Barangay Amas, this city past midnight Friday.
Prudencio Asto, public affairs chief of the Army's 6th Infantry Division, said the improvised explosive device (IED) exploded around 12:15 a.m.
Cotabato Provincial Police Office chief Cornelio Salinas identified the slain bombers as Manampan Dimalen, of Pagalungan, Maguindanao; and Kalim Indigay of Sitio Pagagao, Barangay Patadon this city.
Indigay admitted before he died that they were on a mission to set off the bomb at the Provincial Capitol.
Indigay at the Cotabato Provincial Hospital said he acted as Dimalen’s guide. He died of bomb shrapnel while Dimalen died on the spot when the bomb went off while still in his possession.
Asto said Dimalem and Indigay were probably feeling scared about carrying the bombs, citing initial results of the investigation.
Salinas said it was during the investigation conducted inside the hospital when Indigay admitted his participation in the blast and identified the bomb courier.
Indigay told the police they were paid considerable sum of money for doing it.
Investigators are still establishing the group affiliation of the two, Asto said.
A house owned by a certain Nonong Labog located in front of NIA office was also hit by shrapnel. No member of the Labog family was hurt.
For his part, Central Mindanao Police director Benjardi Mantele said Indigay told probers that he was asked by Manalim to serve as his guide in going to the city.
Citing an initial statement of Indigay, Mantele said the two were walking when the bacpack of Manalim exploded.
Kalim is said to be a member of the Moro National Liberaton Front Commander Usman Kautin. The MNLF signed a peace agreement with the government in 1996.
The bombing took place a day after the Philippine National Police in Soccsksargen conducted a bomb awareness seminar at Amas Capitol Complex.
The explosion was the second that hit Kidapawan City since June and the fourth explosion in Central Mindanao.
On June 27, a powerful IED fashioned from a 60-mm mortar exploded in front of the provincial office of the Commission on Audit (COA). None was hurt during the explosion.
Two explosions took place in Cotabato City that killed a photographer and injured more than 10 others. (With Sunnex)