Blast rocks Maguindanao; bombing foiled in Kudarat
COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao, Philippines — An explosion believed to be the handiwork of Islamic State-linked Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) rocked a remote village in Maguindanao province on Monday night, hours after the military and police stopped the bombing of a government checkpoint along the national highway in nearby Sultan Kudarat province.
Lt. Col. Roberto Breboneria, spokesperson for the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said no one was hurt in the explosion at Barangay Kiteb, about 20 kilometers away from the town center of Datu Anggal Midtimbang in Maguindanao, around 7 p.m. on Monday.
Breboneria said another bomb, which was supposedly intended for investigators, was found near the blast site. Bomb experts detonated it.
No one had owned up to the blast but Breboneria believed that the BIFF was behind the incident, given the group’s past activities that targeted communities and military installations.
Bomb in sack
Earlier on Monday, soldiers and policemen foiled an attempt to bomb a checkpoint along the national highway in Lambayong town, Sultan Kudarat, about 40 km away from the Maguindanao blast site.
Lt. Gino Fegarido, Lambayong police chief, said policemen and soldiers were manning a checkpoint at 6 a.m. when they noticed two men on a motorcycle who seemed to be avoiding them.
“They rerouted and dropped a sack along the road before speeding away,” Fegarido said.
When soldiers checked, the sack contained an improvised explosive device made from an 81mm mortar round and a mobile phone as triggering device.
- The Army ordnance and disposal team recovered the explosive.—Edwin Fernandez
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