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High alert in the region

Police in the region are on high alert following the blast in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat Wednesday afternoon.

Police Brig. Gen. Marcelo Morales, the director of the Police Regional Office 11, yesterday said they have implemented strict border control checkpoints, especially in the southern part of the region, by the Regional Mobile Force Battalion and Davao Sur Police provincial office.Morales said continuous intelligence monitoring and coordination with different law enforcement agencies and intelligence units are also intensified.

At least 18 were injured in the blast that hit a restaurant in Barangay Kalawag 2, Isulan, Sultan Kudarat past 3 p.m. Wednesday. Isulan, a first class municipality, is the capital of Sultan Kudarat in Soccsksargen, a province that shares eastern boundary with Davao del Sur.

Morales said police presence and visibility in Davao City are maintained with the coordination with Task Force Davao (TFD).

He also said that PNP-TFD inspection of all vehicles passing thru checkpoints will be intensified as he asked motorists for understanding and cooperation for the security and safety of the people.

The Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) and K9 (Police Dog) units are also deployed round the clock.

He said that coordination with barangay officials is also enhanced for information gathering.

Davao City Police Office Director Col. Alexander Tagum sustained Morales statement.

Major Arvin Encinas, the 6th Infantry Divisiom spokesperson, said the 18 civilians wounded in the explosion of the anti-personnel mine at Carlitos Chicken House are now being treated at different hospitals in Isulan.

“The possible motives are extortion and retaliation and/or diversionary tactics,”

Encinas said.

He said the restaurant owner received an extortion letter last week. The owner did not report the extortion to the authorities.

“We intensified our intel operations to apprehend the perpetrators and thwart further hostilities,” said Major General Cirilito Sobejana, commander Joint Task Force Central.

Sobejana said the local government units and other stakeholders were engaged and mobilize all agencies to bring back normalcy as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, the 6ID troopers engaged yesterday morning members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in a heavy firefight in the Liguasan Marsh. The gunfight resulted to the death of Ali Abdul Malik, brother of Abu Turaifei, commander of Daulah Islamiya, Turaifei Group (DI-TG).

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