COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 8 Sept) – A bomb exploded and another was successfully defused as two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were planted along the national highway in Datu Paglas, Maguindanao early morning today.
Teng Madidis, municipal administrator of Datu Paglas town, said his teenage nephew was the first to notice a suspicious item on the road as he was jogging in Sitio Malindig, Brgy. Damawato around 5:30 a.m. The boy, Madidis added, reported it was mortar-like with wires attached.
“He immediately reported what he saw to the local militiamen’s detachment,” he said.
Elements from the Army and the Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) immediately checked and secured the area, and temporarily closed the road for security procedures. But a few minutes later the bomb exploded.
One still unidentified soldier was slightly wounded on his knee from a shrapnel.
Col. Edmundo Pangilinan, commanding officer of the 601st Infantry Brigade, said the culprits could have targeted the responding soldiers because the explosion took place while the troopers were already close to the bomb.
Members of the Army’s Explosive Ordnance Unit immediately followed at the explosion site and while scouring and looking for fragment evidences from the first explosion, another bomb was found just a few meters away.
Bomb experts successfully defused the second IED.
Around 7 a.m., after clearing operation, the road was reopened to the public. The blast site is close to the boundary of Maguindanao and North Cotabato provinces.
A week ago, one person was killed and one was arrested in the same area where a joint police and army entrapment operation was conducted against suspected bomb and gun runners operating in Southwestern Mindanao.
High-powered homemade sniper rifles and IEDs were recovered from the group identified as part of the Tamengkong criminal syndicate allegedly involved in gun running and bomb selling operations.