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Off duty soldier shot dead minutes after IED blast

Local News • 15:44 PM Wed Dec 30, 2015
Ferdinandh Cabrera

COTABATO CITY -– Two bombing
incidents hit this city the past two days while an off duty soldier was shot
dead by two men riding tandem on a motorbike along a busy street here, police

The killing of Technical Sergeant
Leopoldo Moncerana came minutes after an improvised bomb went off at a waiting
shed along Sinsuat Avenue at 11:40 a.m.

Nobody was hurt in the blast, the
second in less than 24 hours. On Monday
night, unidentified men tossed an improvised bomb inside the roadside Kulolot’s
Videoke Bar.Senior Supt. Raul Supeter, Cotabato
City police chief, said the twin bombings could be related but investigation is
still in progress.

Bomb experts recovered black powder
and concrete nails and cut iron bars which served as shrapnel.In an earlier bombing at the videoke bar, bomb disposal team personnel recovered a live rifle grenade with firecracker as trigger mechanism.He could not say whether the twin
bombings and the killing of a soldier was related or not.

As police were busy attending to the
bombing that occurred about 800 meters away, two men on a motorbike shot dead
Moncerana who was driving his motorbike from AFSLAI office.

As the off-duty soldier fell from his
motorbike, one of the two suspects took his bag believed to have contained his
firearm and money he loaned from AFSLAI.

Army Special Forces Battalion troopers,
who were at a gas station, responded and chased the suspects along Gen. Luna
Street, triggering a shootout.

The shootout left one of the two suspects
injured while his companion managed to escape. He was identified as Johari
Baknal Upam.

Soldiers recovered the suspects’
motorbike and the soldier’s bag. Four civilians were hit by stray bullets.

Upam told reporters a road raged
involving them and the soldier triggered the shooting.

But police downplayed Upam’s story.

Police are also investigating whether
the bombings and killing of a soldier in Cotabato City and the killing of two
other soldiers in Marawi City, also on Tuesday, were carried out by Islamic
State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) inspired jihadists.

This year, at least five soldiers
were gunned down by motorcycle riding gunmen in Cotabato City which authorities
blamed on lawless Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) hit men. (Ferdinandh

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