IED ‘meant for troops’ explodes in Shariff Aguak
COTABATO CITY—Suspected Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) gunmen set off a powerful improvised explosive device along the national highway in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao as a military convoy was passing by around 7 a.m. Thursday, the Army said.
Colonel Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the 601st Infantry Brigade based in Tacurong City, said the military convoy was heading toward the headquarters of the 6th Infantry Division in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao when a blast rocked the roadside in Barangay (village) Satan.
“Luckily, nobody was hurt, it was really meant for our troops,” Sobejana said.
He said post-blast investigation was still going on at the blast site located about a kilometer away from the headquarters of 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade in Poblacion Shariff Aguak.
No one has claimed responsibility but military and police officials said they were looking at the possible involvement of the BIFF.
Prior to the blast, BIFF spokesperson Abu Misri Mama warned of attacks against the military in Maguindanao.
He also said the BIFF would not declare a unilateral ceasefire this Christmas and New Year.
Sobejana said government forces had been placed on double red alert since Dec. 16 to ensure the safety of commuters passing by Maguindanao and those having Church-related activities.
More checkpoints were put up along the highway from Shariff Aguak to Cotabato City as a preventive measure.
Sobejana sought understanding from commuters on the delays the checkpoints might be causing them but he stressed it was for the safety of everybody.
Last week, at least four IED attacks occurred in the towns of Datu Salibo and Datu Piang, also in Maguindanao.
In the attacks last week, a soldier and a civilian were wounded./rga
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