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Al Khobar group suspected in bus bombing

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One person died, at least three were injured, and three more were traumatized as a result of the blast. (Negrosanon Stories)

The Philippine National Police (PNP) said it is validating reports that the local organized crime group “Al Khobar”, was behind the explosion that hit a passenger bus in Tulunan, North Cotabato on Wednesday.

Police Brigadier General Michael John Dubria, Police Regional Office (PRO-12) director, disclosed that probers are validating intelligence reports that a caller, claiming to be the spokesperson of the group, demanded a still-undetermined amount to Yellow Bus Line (YBL) and threatened the company with an IED (improvised explosive device) attack.

Dubria, however, said that they are also not discounting the possibility that other threat groups in the area were behind the bombing.

Earlier, PNP chief, Police General Debold Sinas ordered the mobilization of its investigative units to assist local police in establishing the circumstances surrounding the IED blast that occurred at a waiting shed along the national highway in Barangay Sibsib, Tulunan, North Cotabato Province, at around 12:30 p.m..

Police said one person died, at least three were injured, and three more were traumatized as a result of the blast.

Gina Paunon, a 53-year-old resident of the town, was declared dead at the hospital, provincial police spokesperson Lt. April Soria said by phone.

Three others, identified as Ryan Panibayo, 28; Lorester Hilbero, 25; and Kenneth Grace Alarin, 29, suffered injuries from the blast.

Rodel Secur, 24; Kent Lloyd Senadero, 19; and Edwardo Odango, 53, were traumatized because of the loud explosion.

Secur and Senadero have been discharged from the hospital, while Odango was confined after suffering hypertension, Soria said.

p: wjg

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