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2 farmers dead, 1 hurt in Maguindanao rice field blast

/ 05:30 PM January 26, 2018

DATU PIANG, Maguindanao—Two farmers were killed while another was injured when they stumbled upon an explosive in the middle of a rice field here on Thursday afternoon, the Army said Friday.

Killed were Abusama Guiamin, 26; and Abdullah Mamatanto, 21, both residents of Barangay Dasawao here. Injured and recuperating in a hospital was Katib Mamatanto, 26, of the same village.

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Mamatanto, 26, confined at Maguindanao provincial hospital in Shariff Aguak town, told police that he and his companions were guarding their rice fields against wild hogs when one of them accidentally stepped on an unidentified explosive that subsequently went off.

The village was the site of recent skirmishes involving government forces and Moro Islamic Liberation Front members against the Islamic State-linked Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

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The military here said the explosive could have been planted by the BIFF against pursuing soldiers during previous clashes.

Lt. Col. Gerry Besana, speaking for the military-led anti-terror unit, Joint Task Force Central, said Army bomb experts were helping the police identify the explosives.

“The Army is helping solve the mysterious blast,” Besana told reporters, adding that there was no military operation in the area at the time of the explosion.

Abu Misri Mama, speaking for the BIFF, was quick to blame the military for the blast by saying his group did not plant IEDs in civilian areas or places that civilians frequented.

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TAGS: Abu Misri Mama, AFP, biff, explosive, Farmers, Gerry Besana, Maguindanao, MILF
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