KORONADAL CITY - Suspected New People's Army fighters set fire to a bus in Koronadal City Wednesday night.
Koronadal City police chief Barney Condes said eight armed men asked the driver and passengers of Husky Tours bus number 6388 to alight the vehicle at Barangay Morales. The armed men then poured gasoline on the bus and set it on fire.
A witness said the suspects were waiting in the area long before the bus arrived. Four of the men stayed outside the bus as lookouts.
An off-duty soldier, who was among the bus passengers, is helping authorities identify the suspects.
South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Fuentes said she believes that communist NPA guerrillas are behind the recent torching of buses and heavy equipment in Soccsksargen.
Extortion is the main reason for these incidents, Fuentes said.
The recent bus was the sixth unit torched by alleged communist rebels in the region. More than ten pieces of heavy equipment were torched since November.
A prayer rally has been scheduled next month in a bid to appeal to culprits to stop the attacks in the region.