Blasts rock bridge in Maguindanao

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/09 July) — Two improvised explosive devices went off underneath Magaslong Bridge in Datu Piang, Maguindanao close to midnight on Monday rendering the bridge impassable by heavy vehicles.

A report from the 6th Infantry Division said the bombs, which exploded around 11:30 p.m., were planted by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

Quoting engineers from the Department of Public Works and Highways, the 6thID said only light vehicles may pass the bridge while it is undergoing repair.

The 6thID and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) have accused each other as behind the incident.

“This recent act of BIFF is strongly condemned by the people, businessmen and local government units of Datu Piang and adjoining communities as ‘haram’ (forbidden) especially that the Holy Month of Ramadhan has started,” the 6thID said.

But BIFF spokesperson Abu Misry Mama denied the accusation. He said that based on the information they received, four Tagalog-speaking men were seen in the area before the explosions.

He accused the military as behind the incident.

He added they would not do such thing against the majority Muslim residents of Datu Piang who will be affected.

Ramadhan, the Holy Month for Muslims during which most of them fast from sunrise to sunset started today.

The 39th exploratory talks between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) also opened today in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia after a three-month impasse over disagreements on the three remaining annexes to the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

The BIFF broke away from the MILF saying it was disappointed by the conduct of the talks. (Ferdinandh Cabrera/MindaNews)