Bombs defused in NorthCot, S. Kudarat

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/9 Nov) – Bomb experts from the Army’s Explosives and Ordnance Disposal Team (EOD) defused improvised explosive devices (IEDs) recovered in Kabacan, North Cotabato and in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat this morning.

The night before, an explosion rocked the poblacion of the same town, sending residents into panic even though no one was harmed.

The IED found in Kabacan, fashioned from an 81-mm mortar, was discovered by a janitor working for the municipal government while he was cleaning the highway in front of Saint Luke’s Hospital around 5 a.m. today, according to Chief Insp. Ariel Perez Guevarra, provincial director of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Team (CIDT) from North Cotabato.

The janitor immediately reported his discovery at the police station.

Two hours later, joint elements of the 63rd EOD team, bomb experts from the Cotabato Provincial Police Office (CPPO), and the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) arrived at the site.

After they cordoned the area, they defused the bomb using water cannon, reports said. No one was harmed in the operation.

Guevarra said they recovered two 9-volt batteries, a mobile phone, and one IED as secondary device as main charge.

Four hours later, yet another IED was found near a gasoline station in Isulan town in Sultan Kudarat, according to the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom).

The improvised bomb, discovered by workers of the gasoline station, consisted of a 60-mm mortar with a mobile phone as its triggering device.

The military report said bomb experts from the local Army responded to a distress call and successfully defused the explosive using a water disruptor.

The site where the IED was discovered in Kabacan was just a few meters away from Kakuan Drier, located along the University of Southern Mindanao (USM) Avenue in the Poblacion, where a bomb exploded around 8 p.m. Tuesday, Guevarra said.

“The explosion was so loud. We were so afraid because the police said another bomb might explode,” said Rea, a first year development communications student of USM.

Sr. Supt. Cornelio Salinas, provincial police director in North Cotabato, said he already alerted his men in Kabacan to secure residents in the area.

“Friendly forces in adjacent areas are also alerted to pre-empt another incident,” he added.

Two weeks ago, a roadside blast happened just as a passenger bus passed by an Army detachment along the national highway in Kabacan. The blast injured a 17-year-old student of USM and destroyed the right portion of the Rural Transit Bus. (Malu Cadeliña-Manar / MindaNews)