8 hurt in Tacurong blast

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 18) — At least eight people were hurt after an improvised explosive device (IED) went off in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat, Monday night.

According to the Philippine News Agency (PNA), two explosions in a gasoline station along the national highway hurt onlookers and armed personnel.

Sultan Kudarat provincial police director Senior Supt. Raul Supiter said the first explosion ripped the rest room of Dragon Gasoline station.

Another blast followed in front of the gas station.

"Bomb experts and police were conducting a post blast investigation when the (second) IED went off," Supiter said.

Supiter identified the injured as bomb disposal team members S/Sgt. Ipil Presaldo, S/Sgt. Menzo Salsalito Manoy, SPO2 Jasper Garcia, PO1 Martin San Pedro, PO1 Eleazar Sustiguer and three civilians identified as Bobong Bamo, Michael Pon and another unidentified man.

According to PNA, text messages circulated in Central Mindanao about an alleged bomb plot by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in the cities of Tacurong, Koronadal, Kidapawan, Davao, and Cotabato to avenge the death of Abu Sayyaf members who clashed with government troops in Bohol last week.

Six members of the Abu Sayyaf Group died in the clash, including one of their key leaders, Abu Rami.