Center for International Stabilization & Recovery

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Posts tagged "explosions"

NPA’s site supervisor, Hasan Joulani

Mahmoud Balhas is a 55 year old tobacco farmer from the village of Qana in South Lebanon. For more than two years, Mahmoud and his family have been using a land that turned out to be highly contaminated with cluster munitions.

When Mahmoud rented this land in 2008 to use for tobacco planting, he knew that it was contaminated with cluster munitions. Yet the need for income forced him to take the risk and, with a misconception that fire destroys all cluster bombs, he set the land on fire. As there were numerous cluster bombs on the surface, explosions started going off around him and he had to throw himself away to escape.

“The explosions were heard all over the village and people thought I was dead when they saw me lying on the ground”, said Mahmoud. “I escaped miraculously but I thought that the problem was solved. I was sure that the explosions destroyed all the cluster bombs in the land so we started using it”.

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Two explosions greeted Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo yesterday in Cotobato City.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Directorate for Integrated Police Operation (DIPO) Western Mindanao director Chief Supt. Felicisimo Khu said the first explosion occurred at around 12:10 p.m. followed by another blast at around 12:15 p.m.

Khu said unidentified suspects planted the improvised explosive devices (IED) 20 meters apart beside the road near Cotobato City Regional Hospital. He said the IEDs exploded almost simultaneously.

It was learned that the explosion occurred shortly after the convoy of Robredo passed by in the area. Robredo was scheduled to attend a forum for the elected officer in charge of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Khu said the DILG convoy was already inside the compound when the explosion occurred.

Cotobato City police director Senior Supt. Roberto Badian said Robredo was not the target of the explosion.

Police are conducting follow-up investigation into the incident.