The five-year-old boy injured in the bombing of a passenger bus here on Tuesday morning expired while undergoing treatment at a hospital in Cotabato City.
“My boy died due to multiple shrapnel wounds in different parts of his body,” his father, Haron Solaiman, who was also injured in his left leg during the blast, said in the vernacular in a radio interview.
The child was with his two siblings, aged 5 months old and three years old, while traveling with their father from Kabacan to Cotabato City when an improvised bomb went off inside the Mindanao Star Bus they were riding along the highway in Barangay San Mateo in this town.
Aside from Solaiman and his kids, also injured were Rodolfo Castillo, 67, of Toril, Davao City; Lester Bautista, 17 of Pikit, North Cotabato; and 25-year-old Masid Piang Benjamin, both of Kidapawan City.
They are all undergoing treatment at Cotabato Regional and Medical Center in Cotabato City.
Bomb experts said the improvised bomb was planted under one of the seats near the rear portion of the bus and set off through a mobile phone at 8:10 a.m.
No one has claimed responsibility but police probers are looking at extortionists to be behind the attack.
North Cotabato Governor Nancy Catamco condemned the attack, describing it as an act of evil.
Brig. Gen. Alexander Tagum, police regional director for Region 12, has directed all police units in the region to be on guard against peace saboteurs, especially terrorists targeting innocent civilians.
He created a special investigation task group, led by Col. Michael Lebanan of PRO-12, to supervise the investigation.
“The PRO-12 strongly condemns the cowardly terrorist attack against the innocent commuters of Mindanao Star Bus. We hope for the fast recovery of the injured and be assured that those behind the bombing will face the full force of the law,” Tagum said.
Source: Philippines News Agency