COTABATO CITY—Two bomb explosions jolted Datu Saudi Ampatuan town in Maguindanao Monday morning, killing a Moro rebel and wounding seven comrades.
Kagi Haron, a member of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), died from shrapnel wounds, said Abu Misry Mama, speaking for the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFM) led by founding chairman Umra Ameril Kato.
Mama, BIFM vice chairman for military affairs, said that among those hurt were deputies Kato, who broke away from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to form the BIFM and its armed wing, the BIFF.
A group of BIFF rebels led by “Commander Karialan” were walking on trails along a dry rice field in the borders of Barangays (villages) Lower Salbu and Upper Salbu in Datu Saudi Ampatuan at about 8:30 a.m. when a bomb fashioned from an 81-mm mortar shell and triggered by a mobile phone went off.
Mama said Karialan and three others suffered minor injuries.
About 20 minutes later, a similar improvised bomb exploded a kilometer away, hitting another BIFF unit led by Dr. Muhammad Ali Tambako, BIFM vice chairman for political affairs.
Tambako and three others suffered minor shrapnel injuries, but one of his escorts, Haron, died while being treated by a BIFM medical team.
Mama refused to blame the military or the MILF for the bombings. “We are still investigating,” he said.
The BIFM is composed of members of the MILF who severed ties when the latter has reportedly abandoned its original struggle for total independence in 2010. In October, the MILF signed a framework agreement on the Bangsamoro during its peace negotiations with the government.
Security measures have been tightened along the national highway and other streets leading to Shariff Aguak town, where thousands of people are expected to converge on Tuesday for the grand “Kanduli” (thanksgiving) festival hosted by Mayor Zahara Ampatuan.
The BIFM members were on their way to the event, while Ghadzali Jaafar, MILF vice chairman for political affairs, will be the guest speaker, Ampatuan said.
She said the gathering would have members of the MILF, the military and police as guests, including local government officials and residents of Maguindanao, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and other adjacent provinces.
Ampatuan said she was saddened to learn of the Datu Piang blast, saying it was contrary to Tuesday’s event that she described as a thanksgiving for the fruitful signing of the framework deal aimed at forging a final peace accord with the MILF.—Edwin O. Fernandez and Charlie C. Señase, Inquirer Mindanao
Originally posted: 4:07 pm | Monday, November 26th, 2012