Gov’t forces foil bombing attempt in Maguindanao
COTABATO CITY, Philippines—Government forces on Saturday night foiled a bombing attempt at a military detachment in Maguindanao, officials said Monday.
Soldiers also clashed with suspected Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Maguindanao and recovered high-powered firearms.
Colonel Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the 601st Infantry Brigade, said three powerful improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were left outside a detachment in Barangay (village) Meta, Datu Unsay, Maguindanao.
Sobejana said soldiers manning a checkpoint found the improvised bomb on a road leading to an uphill detachment of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade around 6 p.m.
According to witnesses, two men riding tandem on a motorbike left the explosives and hurriedly left.
Soldiers became suspicious and cordoned off the area until Army bomb experts safely deactivated the IED.
Sobejana said that another team of government forces engaged suspected BIFF rebels in a brief firefight in Barangay Kauran, Ampatuan, also in Maguindanao.
Soldiers were verifying a tip from concerned citizens on the presence of armed men in the interior portion of Barangay Kauran. As the soldiers were entering the village, about 20 armed men opened fire on them triggering a brief firefight until the armed men fled to the hinterlands of Ampatuan.
Elements of the 1st Mechanized Brigade and 601st Brigade recovered high-powered firearms that included a machine gun, assault rifles and rocket propelled grenades. Soldiers also recovered mortar rounds and bomb-making devices.
Sobejana could not say whether or not the armed men sustained casualties during the 30-minute firefight. Nobody from the military was injured. RAM/rga
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