Two people were injured when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off outside the home of Isabela City Mayor Cherrylyn Akbar in Basilan Thursday noon, police said.

Superintendent Allan Nazarro, Isabela City police chief, said the explosion occurred near the gate of Akbar’s home in Sunrise Village around 12:15.

“Nakalagay po sa motorcycle ‘yung IED… may mga dumadaan na sasakyan nung mangyari ‘yung pagsabog,” Nazarro said in a phone interview.

Captain Albert Caber, spokesman of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, said vehicles of Isabela City Vice Mayor Abdulbaki Ajibun and the Red Cross were passing by when the bomb went off.

One of those injured was Jonathan Cabuyao, who was riding the Red Cross vehicle, Caber said in a text message.

Ajibun, who just came from a regular session of the city council, believes that he was the “target” of the bombing, Caber added.

Nazarro, meanwhile, said those injured only suffered “slight injuries” and were not taken to the hospital.

“Hindi na sila nagpadala sa ospital, sa mga bahay lang, puro slight lang ang injuries sa kamay,” he said, adding that some of the vehicles that passed by were also hit by shrapnels.

Investigators are still trying to determine the identities and motive of those who planted the explosive as of this writing.

Brigadier Gen. Rainier Cruz, commander of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, directed the military units in Isabela City to help police in the investigation and be “extra vigilant” while maintaining peace and order in the locality, Caber said. (John Roson)

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