COTABATO CITY, Philippines – Suspected Moro rebels set off a roadside improvised explosive device in Maguindanao Sunday morning that left a soldier wounded, the Army here said.
Corporal Edwin Lamorese was slightly wounded when suspected members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) set off an improvised bomb fashioned from 60 mm mortar in Barangay (village) Madidis, Datu Paglas, Maguindanao.
Lamorese and a member of the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit (Cafgu) were responding to a report by alert village people about a suspected IED at a dirt road in Barangay Madidis at 6 a.m. when it was set off using a mobile phone as trigger mechanism.
Col. Roy Galido, 38th Infantry Battalion commander, said Lamorese, a 38th IB leader of the militiamen, was slightly wounded in the explosion.
Galido believed the IEDs were intended for militiamen and soldiers who have been manning checkpoints at which all passing vehicles have been subjected to inspection.
He said the explosive was planted along a grassy side of the highway, some 100 meters away from a detachment of the CAFGU, which was manned by militiamen under Lamorese.
Galido said Lamorese sustained shrapnel injuries in the body but was declared out of danger by the Datu Paglas municipal hospital.
He returned to his detachment after receiving first aid.
Police shut down the road network connecting Tacurong City and Davao City for about an hour while investigation was being conducted.
Army bomb experts were also verifying reports more IEDs were planted around the area.
Kagi Sumail, a village official, said the IED was planted by Moro bandits engaged in extortion activities who were preying on passenger buses like the General Santos City-bound Yellow Bus, Cagayan de Oro City-bound Rural Transit Bus and even civilian commuters.
No one has claimed responsibility but Galido said the IED with 60 mm mortar and mobile phone as triggering device was a signature armament of the BIFF.