Series of blasts in Cotabato leave 21 wounded

Separate explosions ripped through Cotabato City and Libungan town in Cotabato province Sunday night (December 22), leaving 21 people injured, nine of whom are soldiers.

The first blast occurred at 6:00 p.m. on Sinsuat Avenue in Cotabato City after unknown assailants described as teenagers, threw a grenade at a military vehicle carrying the advance party for the visit of President Rodrigo Duterte in the city on December 23.

The attack injured 7 civilians and 9 soldiers.

Not long after, a homemade bomb went off at 6:30 p.m. in the nearby town of Libungan in Cotabato province.  Five people were wounded in the incident.

Another blast occurred at around 7:11 p.m. while a reporter on site was in the middle of airing flash reports. Nobody was hurt in the incident.

Western Mindanao Command spokesperson Major Arvin Encinas said they are not discounting the involvement of the ISIS-linked local terror group, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in the series of attacks.

All entry and exit points in the city are currently on lock-down following the bombing.

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