A powerful explosion rocked Cotabato City Monday, just few hours before the New Year.
Initial report states that the suspected improvised explosive device went off around 1:59 p.m. infront of the South Seas Mall.
Eleven victims were rushed to the hospital. Authorities are still investigating the incident as of press time.
Latest update showed that 25 people were wounded while two died.
Unconfirmed reports showed that another IED was detected at the 2nd floor at the baggage area of South Seas Mall at around 2:40 p.m.
The recovered IED was suspected to contain black powder with unknown chemicals and secreting foul odor.
Personnel and customers were advised to vacate the place immediately.
The Cotabato City LGU initially identified the victims as:
1. Bai Sandra Ayunan, 16 years old, student.
2. Kutin Sedik, 65, male
3. Hamida Solaiman, 21, female
4. Joey Api, 31, male
5. Aida Dalandag, 58
6. Marissa Torres, 49,
7. Tarhata biruar, 43,female
8. Norlyn Biruar, 4, female
None is reported to be fatally wounded so far.
Cotabato City Mayor Frances Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi meanwhile condemned the lates bombing in her city.
“I strongly condemn the bombing incident that happened in front of South Seas Mall today, a day before the New Year, the took away several innocent lives and injured dozen others.
This is not just another terroristic act but an act against humanity. I cannot fathom how such evil exists in this time of merry making of our fellow Cotabatenios.
It is unimaginable how some people can start the New Year with an act of cruelty but no matter how you threaten us, the people of Cotabato City are resilient and we are stronger than how you think we are.
We will stand up against terrorism. We will fight against evil.”
Photos by Jabbar Dilangalen