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MANILA (3rd UPDATE) – Police said 11 people died after an explosion hit a passenger bus just outside the gate of the Central Mindanao University (CMU) in Maramag, Bukidnon on Tuesday afternoon.
Authorities said an improvised explosive device (IED) may have been planted at the back of a Rural Transit Mindanao, Inc. (RTMI) bus with plate number KBP 178. The explosion occurred around 5:45 p.m.
Nine passengers died on the spot, while two died in the hospital.
CMU Chief of Security George Gewan said five students of CMU were among those who were killed in the blast. He said several individuals were rushed to the university infirmary, while others were taken to hospitals in Valencia City.
The bus was on its way to Cagayan de Oro from Banisilan, North Cotabato and was carrying 37 passengers when the explosion occurred.
Authorities suspect the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIIF) may have something to do with the latest incident, since it may be related to another explosion of another bus from the same company.
The previous explosion also occurred near the university on November 6, which left 4 people injured.
Police are now investigating footage from a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera that captured the movement of the bus moments before the explosion. -- Reports from PJ Dela Pena, ABS-CBN News Northern Mindanao; and Fred Dellava, dzMM