AFP to destroy BIFF bombs in Maguindanao, Cotabato City
DAVAO CITY — The Armed Forces of the Philippines has advised residents living in Maguindanao and Cotabato City that it will dispose of a huge cache of recovered explosives on Tuesday morning (Mar. 29), which will cause loud explosions.
Capt. Jo-Ann Petinglay, spokesperson of the Philippine Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said about 300 kilograms of 81mm and 60mm high explosives and cartridges would be disposed of by burning in a military facility in Barangay Semba, Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao at 7 a.m. Tuesday.
“This is to inform the civilian populace not to panic if they hear loud explosions during the disposal,” Petinglay said.
Petinglay said most of the explosives were recovered during clearing operations after the series of clashes between Army troops and members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Maguindanao that started February 5.
“During the clearing operation, the operating troops of the Joint Task Force Central discovered that Barangay Tee in Datu Salibo town was rigged with several IEDs that can endanger the lives of the civilians in the area,” Petinglay said.
The AFP said at least 64 explosions of improvised explosive devices have been recorded since February, including 20 incidents wherein rebels caused injuries and deaths on the government side.
Bombs were recovered in about 38 attempted IED attacks while six incidents involved dummy explosives.
“The soldiers of the Joint Task Force Kampilan will continue to intensify their operations to clear the area of IEDs so that people in the community can go back to their normal lives,” Petinglay said.
BIFF spokesperson Abu Misri Mama consistently denied his group’s involvedment in IED attacks that targetted civilians.
“We only reserve our explosives for government soldiers,” Mama earlier said.
The BIFF was created by former Moro Islamic Liberation Front commanders who left the organization after a series of serious disagreements over the conduct of the peace negotiations with the government. SFM
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