TACURONG CITY, Sultan Kudarat - Police on Tuesday arrested two alleged members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in possession of a grenade while lingering near a store where an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded just moments earlier.
Suspects Warren and Johari Gane were seen at the blast site carrying a hand grenade just minutes after a bomb exploded, said Sultan Kudarat Provincial Director Senior Supt. Raul Supiter.
"Ang sinasabi nila miyembro sila ng MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) pero sa mga pictures natin na nakita mukha namang mga MILF. So 'yon pa ang tinututukan natin ngayon," Supiter said.
[They said they are members of the MNLF, but through the pictures we can see that it seems [they are from the] MILF. That's what we are focusing on now.]
At least 15 people were hurt in two separate explosions that ripped through a business establishment in Tacurong City Monday evening.
Investigation revealed that the first IED was thrown on the roof of a convenience store, while the second bomb was detonated from a trash bin can near the store.
A cellphone was used as a triggering device, investigators said.
Authorities are looking at extortion as one of the possible motives behind the blast.
The region has been placed under red alert, with both police and military presence intensified.
Sultan Kudarat Governor Pax Mangudadatu urged locals to report any suspicious persons, items and vehicles they see.