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Passenger torches bus; 3 dead

By Edwin Fernandez / Philippine News Agency

BUS ON FIRE. Black smoke rises from a burning YBL bus torched by a passenger while it was traveling to M’lang, North Cotabato on Thursday afternoon. Three unidentified passengers perished in incident suspected to be the handiwork of Al Khobar extortion group. (Photo courtesy of DXND Kidapawan)

KIDAPAWAN CITY – A still unidentified man on Thursday set ablaze a passenger bus in M’lang, North Cotabato, leaving three passengers charred beyond recognition.

The YBL bus was bound for M’lang, North Cotabato from this city at about 4 p.m. when one of its passengers stood up, pulled a container, and splashed gasoline on the rear side of the bus while it was traveling somewhere in Barangay Bialong, M’lang.

Witnesses said the man then set the bus on fire using a lighter.

As commotion ensued, the man was last seen leaving the bus along with other passengers.

Bernardo Tayong, M’lang disaster official, said the three dead passengers, who were trapped inside the burning bus, have yet to be unidentified.

YBL, one of the bus lines operating the Davao-Cotabato-Tacurong-South Cotabato route, has been receiving extortion demands from the lawless Al Khobar group – an organized crime group reportedly responsible for extortion and bombing incidents in Central Mindanao.

The bus firm has survived a series of bombings and arson in the past five years.

The incident is still being investigated. (PNA)

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