Cops probe if Maguindanao IED twin blasts poll-related

Police authorities are validating reports indicating that the twin roadside explosions at the borders of two Maguindanao towns on Tuesday afternoon were intended to harm local candidates.

In an interview Wednesday, Capt. Fayeed Cana, speaking for the Maguindanao police, said the blasts occurred at past 5 p.m. while the convoy of Maguindanao reelectionist Gov. Bai Mariam Mangudadatu was en route toward North Upi from South Upi town.

The blasts left Abdulraof Usman, a supporter of provincial board candidate Nathaniel Midtimbang, slightly injured.

Nor-Eimman Balayman-Dalaten, a staff of the governor, said a brief exchange of gunfire also occurred after the blast when her police escorts noticed gunmen along the elevated portion of the highway.

Dalaten said two powerful IEDs were dangled on a yellow steel barrier beside the highway and set off as the convoy passed by.

“Gov. Mangudadatu was unharmed and is safe,” Cana said, citing police reports from Upi municipal police station.

Traffic along the two-lane provincial road was closed for about an hour and a half while bomb technicians conducted a post-blast investigation.

No one has claimed responsibility for the bomb attack that Cana said could be election-related.

“This is the impression, as it involves candidates, so it could be election-related but a regional police committee will officially determine that after a thorough investigation,” Cana said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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