2 bombs detonated in Maguindanao
DATU SAUDI AMPATUAN, Maguindanao–Army bomb experts on Saturday safely detonated two powerful improvised bombs planted by suspected Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) along the national highway in Datu Salibo town in Maguindanao.
The bombs were planted beside the highway and near a roadside makeshift market place and jeepney terminal, according to Lieutenant Colonel Gerry Besana, spokesperson of the Task Force Joint Central.
Besana said residents had been prevented from traversing the national highway, particularly Barangay Pagatin of Datu Salibo, where the IEDs were found by residents on Friday night, until after it was safe for them to do so.
“We have to shut down the highway to avoid civilians from getting hurt,” Besana said of the highway linking this town, Datu Salibo and Datu Piang.
The discovery of the IEDs also disrupted the campaigning of candidates for the village polls.
Sandig Macalapat, a candidate for village council in Datu Salibo, said they decided to campaign in the evening because it was hot during the day.
“It’s very hot during the day, so it is good to campaign at night but there was a bomb, we stayed home instead,” Macalapat said.
Apparently the IEDs, fashioned from 60 mm and 81 mm mortars, were intended for military vehicles, Besana added.
Senior Supt. Edwin Wagan, Maguindanao police director, said the two explosives were found beside the highway and were about 50 meters apart.
Abu Misri Mama, speaking for the BIFF, denied his group was behind the planting of the explosives.
“We are lying low for now, we have nothing to do with that,” he said in Filipino.
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