Military says troops foiled another bomb plot
CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao—Authorities said they foiled yet another bomb plot in North Cotabato when several suspects transporting a bomb were forced to flee upon seeing police and soldiers, according to the military on Saturday.
Colonel Prudencio Asto, spokesman of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division here, said the men, riding in two motorcycles, were on their way to Kidapawan City from Makilala town, also in North Cotabato, to plant the improvised explosive device (IED), when intercepted by the police.
Earlier, the police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) said it got information that members of the al-Khobar extortion gang were to smuggle an IED to the said city on Friday.
The al-Khobar is the same group being eyed in the April 11 blast that tore into a Rural Transit Bus in Carmen, North Cotabato. Three persons died in the explosion while over a dozen others were wounded.
Police fanned out in Makilala on Friday to hunt members of the group, CIDG said.
Asto said the four men saw a police car just as they were carrying an IED made out of an 81-mm mortar shell near Kidapawan City. Police happened to be conducting a search of vehicles entering Kidapawan at that time.
The suspects, said Asto, threw the bomb into a river bordering Makilala and Kidapawan and fled.
Asto said police tried to give chase but failed to catch up with the suspects.
Police in Central Mindanao said they would dispose of at least 116 IEDs recovered in the region and other areas in past months. Chief Superintendent Felicisimo Khu, chief of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations in Western Mindanao, said the IEDs would be set off in safe areas.—Edwin Fernandez