Army bomb experts defuse IED in Maguindanao
SHARIFF AGUAK, MAGUINDANAO – An improvised bomb planted along a roadside here triggered traffic along the Cotabato-Isulan highway Thursday morning.
Police and military authorities shut down the highway near a bridge in Labo-Labo village, Datu Hofer town, Maguindanao province from 6 a.m. on July 12 after a powerful improvised bomb was found by motorists.
A bomb expert said the IED was cellphone-triggered and could have maimed or seriously hurt civilian motorists.
The traffic was opened about two hours later when Army ordnance team deactivated the IED, which has the “signature” of outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).
The discovery of a roadside bomb came hours after a rifle grenade, fired from a distance, landed and exploded near a gas station in Barangay Poblacion, Datu Paglas town, Maguindanao.
Town Mayor Ibrahim Paglas said the explosion occurred at 8 p.m. July 11 but nobody was hurt.
He blamed illegal drug syndicates to be behind the attack apparently to avenge the group’s losses from the intensified anti-drug campaign of the local government.
Last week, the Army’s 33rd Infantry Battalion clashed with IS-inspired BIFF in a village few meters from the town hall.
The rebel group reportedly plotted to take over the town hall in Marawi City-like siege. The plot was foiled.
Military and police authorities have blamed the BIFF for the roadside bombings, which they normally resort to, to divert military attention.
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