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SECURITY ALERT UP

Blast foiled as bike bomb defused in Maguindanao

/ 03:08 PM September 10, 2018

Updated @ 10:14 p.m., Sept. 10, 2018

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao — Government soldiers and policemen thwarted on Sunday an attempt by an Islamic State (IS)-linked armed group to set off a bomb near the public market and town hall of Datu Odin Sinsuat in Maguindanao province.

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Police said that at 10 p.m. on Sunday, vendors preparing for Monday’s market day tipped off the police about a motorcycle abandoned at a roadside in front of the town hall.

BIFF trademark

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Bomb experts, using sniffer dogs, confirmed it was rigged with an improvised explosive device (IED) and immediately deactivated it, according to Chief Supt. Graciano Mijares, regional police director of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Mijares, in a statement, said the bomb-rigged motorcycle had the trademark of the IS-linked Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), noting that similar bombs were either recovered or set off in the region.

He believed that the IED had been set to be detonated at sunrise when people were busy in the market as vendors started displaying their wares by the roadside.

Isulan bombings

Police and military forces have been on heightened alert in the provinces of Maguindanao, North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat since the recent bombings in Isulan town that killed five people and injured 48 others.

Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, 6th Infantry Division commander, said three BIFF men were killed while two others were wounded in a clash with government forces in Datu Montawal town, Maguindanao, on Friday. /kga /pdi

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