MANILA, Philippines – Al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf extremists have bombed and destroyed a bridge used by government forces and villagers in Patikul town in Sulu, authorities said on Sunday.
National police spokesman Agrimero Cruz said nobody was injured in the powerful explosion that brought down Kilometer 15 Bridge in Barangay (village) Pangdanon late Saturday night. The militants have bombed a number of bridges on Jolo to derail military offensives and government responses to terrorist attacks. One of these was the Kandayok bridge in Panamao town, which was bombed on January 4.
Cruz said that the remote-controlled bomb consisted of an unspecified type of explosives attached to a wrist watch.
Colonel Jose Johriel Cenabre, deputy commander for Marines operations of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao, said the wooden bridge collapsed and “people now have to cross the river below it.”
Cenabre said the bandits tried three times to blast away the Tangan-tangan Bridge in Barangay Tiaung in Patikul last year.
He said most of the infrastructure projects, such as bridges, roads, classrooms and clinics, were built in Sulu with the help of the US Armed Forces. The US government has poured some P163 million for Sulu.
U.S.-backed Philippine offensives have weakened the Abu Sayyaf, which is notorious for deadly bombings, kidnappings and beheadings, but the group remains a key security threat.
Originally posted at 02:31 pm | Sunday, January 08, 2012