An improvised explosive went off near a hotel and a market in Cotabato City Thursday evening, injuring at least one person, authorities said.

The explosion occurred around 6:20 p.m. near the Estosan Hotel along Guttierez ave., particularly at the back of the talipapa or flea market, Brig. Gen. Manuel Ochotorena, deputy commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said.

The blast, which came from an 81-millimeter mortar ammunition, was also near Brgy. Rosary Heights 9 chairman Anacleto Cesneros’ house, city police director Senior Supt. Danny Reyes said.

One Joseph “Toto” Bacarro, a meat vendor, was injured and was immediately brought to a hospital, he said.

Members of the police and military’s Explosives and Ordnance Disposal Teams cordoned the area and are now conducting a post-blast investigation, Ochotorena said.

Initial results of the probe indicated that the explosive was placed at the fence of Cesneros’ house, Supt. Resty Damaso, Central Mindanao regional police spokesman, said.

Investigators found at the scene fragments of an 81-millimeter mortar ammunition, disintegrated parts of a mobile phone, and leaflets printed with “Bangsamoro Independence Movement” and “Bangsamoro Youth Movement,” said Col. Prudencio Asto, Army 6th ID public affairs chief. (John Roson)

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